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  • Published: 1 Sep 2017
  • DOI: 10.4324/9781138201521-HET20-1


  • Abstract
  • Secondary sources and some issues and concerns
  • Feminist waves or fissures?
  • Women’s economic writings during the period 1700–1914
  • Some afterthoughts
  • Acknowledgements:
  • References

Women Economic Writers in the History of Economic Thought (1700–1914)


Women have been invisible both as authors and as subjects of study in the field of political economy (later economics). The fact that women were barred from education (including, later on, higher and university education) and in the early twentieth century from academic jobs in economics played an important role here. As early as the beginning of the eighteenth century women, however, did write about economic subjects, and they did so in much larger numbers than might be expected. They used a variety of genres: essays, pamphlets, letters, diaries, account books, poems, novels and treatises. This essay provides an overview or rather a peek into this (re)emerging literature, which teaches us about women’s – and men’s – economic lives and women’s views on economic institutions, markets, legislation and policies, as well as their role in the economy of everyday life. The focus in this essay is on England and Scotland, with additional discussions on France and the US.