The Pinkonomics Podcast

Exploring the economics of womanhood, with perspectives from philosophy, economics, sociology, and law. A Summer 2024 project by Arundhati Singh.

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5 days ago

A bonus, informal, explicit (!) episode of The Pinkonomics Podcast! This is the first episode featuring a guest from outside academia. Raymond is a tech startup founder (and my friend) who insisted on coming on the show to demonstrate what good audio sounds like and how to go viral.
We discuss feminist economics, startups, Raymond’s experiences funding and establishing his own startup, and why women are less likely to found companies and get less funding for their companies if they do. We also argued about whether or not “feminist content” should be entertaining, and about being right and nuanced vs. being generally right and popular.
P.S. There will also be some scheduling changes starting this week, since summer is now drawing to a close. I talk about this in the episode.
00:00:00 Introduction
00:02:49 How Economics Differs from Sociology, and What (Feminist) Economics Entails
00:07:18 The Need for Qualitative and Interdisciplinary Methods in Economics
00:09:50 Math vs. Economics, and Economics as a Social Science
00:17:14 Why Female Startups Receive (Wayyyy) Less Funding than Male Startups
00:17:32 Venture Capital vs. Other Kinds of Startup Incubators (can’t name the company, but you’ll hear it on the show :))
00:21:50 The Gender Disparity in Startups
00:22:16 The Origins of the Gender Disparity in Startups and STEM Fields
00:27:15 Are Women More Risk-Averse than Men? (Plus the Lottery and Gambling Problems)
00:33:48 The Role of Trust for Investors
00:38:08 The Academic Literature on Why Female Startups Receive Less Funding than Male Startups
00:40:03 Raymond Thinks Men ‘Cap’ More
00:41:16 Disproving Someone's Point Does Not Mean They Will Believe You — People Believe What They Want to Believe
00:42:54 When Is the Best Time to Teach People or Correct Their Beliefs?
00:44:31 Teaching Kids When Young and Raymond Insisting on a Manifesto for Children
00:48:14 Going Viral vs. Stable, Steady Growth
00:51:22 Must “Feminist Content” Be Entertaining?
Scott, Linda. The Cost of Sexism: How the Economy Is Built for Men and Why We Must Reshape It. Faber & Faber, 2020.
Rao, Vijayendra. “Can Economics Become More Reflexive? Exploring the Potential of Mixed-Methods.” The World Bank Group Policy Research Working Paper 9918, 2022. URL: <>.
Dowd, Kevin. “A sector-by-sector guide to the gender gap among startup founders.” Carta Blog, 2024. URL: <>.
Jacobs, Rose. “How to Get More Woman CEOs: A look at what’s holding women back from top-paying jobs.” Chicago Booth Review - Economics, November 2018. URL = <>.
Wong G, Zane N, Saw A, Chan AK. “Examining gender differences for gambling engagement and gambling problems among emerging adults.” J Gambl Stud. 2013 Jun;29(2):171-89. DOI: <>.
Barnes GM, Welte JW, Tidwell MC, Hoffman JH. “Gambling on the lottery: sociodemographic correlates across the lifespan.” J Gambl Stud. 2011 Dec;27(4):575-86. DOI: <>.
Laura Bottazzi, Marco Da Rin, Thomas Hellmann, The Importance of Trust for Investment: Evidence from Venture Capital, The Review of Financial Studies, Volume 29, Issue 9, September 2016, pp. 2283–2318 DOI: <>.
Ruel E, Hauser RM. “Explaining the gender wealth gap.” Demography. 2013 Aug;50(4):1155-76. DOI: <>.
Dana Kanze et al., “Evidence that investors penalize female founders for lack of industry fit.” Sci. Adv.6 (2020). DOI: <>.
Dana Kanze et al., “We Ask Men to Win and Women Not to Lose: Closing the Gender Gap in Startup Funding.” Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 61, No. 2, 2018. DOI: <>.
Kwapisz, A., & Hechavarría, D. M. (2017). “Women don’t ask: an investigation of start-up financing and gender.” Venture Capital, 20(2), 159–190. DOI: <>.
Snellman, Kaisa and Solar, Isabelle. “Does Investor Gender Matter for the Success of Female Entrepreneurs? Gender Homophily and the Stigma of Incompetence in Entrepreneurial Finance.” Org. Sci., Vol. 34, No. 2. 2022. DOI: <>.
Malinin, A.. “Beyond the Pitch: Role of Founders’ Characteristics in Startup Funding.” Journal of Accounting and Finance, 23(5). 2023. DOI: <>.
Cover art by Cato Benschop (IG: @catobenschop).
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Copyright 2024 The Pinkonomics Podcast. All rights reserved.

Tuesday Jul 09, 2024

Now that we’ve established all models are wrong, let’s discuss some models!
Game theory is the study of strategy in social interactions. It’s very useful for assessing (heterosexual) household inequality — and for developing strategic responses to that inequality.
There are two episodes on household bargaining, and in this first part I cover simple Nash bargaining models, and Amartya Sen’s household bargaining model from his 1990 paper “Gender and Cooperative Conflicts”.
00:00:00 Introduction
00:03:46 Game Theory, Battle of the Sexes, and Why Strategy Is a Good Thing
00:12:05 Bargaining Models, Sen’s Household Bargaining Model, and How Financial Independence Increases Bargaining Power
00:17:55 More to Come!
Games and Models
A good visual for the Battle of the Sexes game can be found here: <>.
For the Nash Bargaining Model, see Nash, John F. “The Bargaining Problem.” Econometrica 18, no. 2 (1950): 155–62. <>.
Another explanation of the Nash Bargaining Model: <>.
Sen, Amartya. “Gender and Cooperative Conflicts,” Persistent Inequalities, edited by Irene Tinker, Oxford University Press, 1990. See 1987 working paper here: <>.
Dutta, Prajit K. and Vergote, Wouter. Strategies and Games: Theory and Practice, Second Edition, The MIT Press, 2022.
Bittman, Michael, et al. “When Does Gender Trump Money? Bargaining and Time in Household Work,” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 109, No. 1, pp. 186–214, 2003. DOI: <>. 
Miller, Claire Cain. “Men Do More at Home, but Not as Much as They Think.” The New York Times, 2015. <>.
Goldin C, Kerr SP, Olivetti C. The Other Side of the Mountain: Women's Employment and Earnings over the Family Cycle. IFS Deaton Review of Inequalities. London, England: Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); 2021. URL = <>.
Bianchi SM, Sayer LC, Milkie MA, Robinson JP. Housework: Who Did, Does or Will Do It, and How Much Does It Matter? Soc Forces. 2012 Sep 1;91(1):55-63. DOI: <>. PMID: 25429165; PMCID: PMC4242525.
Barroso, Amanda. “For American couples, gender gaps in sharing household responsibilities persist amid pandemic.” Pew Research Center, 2021. URL = <>.
Further Reading
Harris, E.A., Gormezano, A.M. & van Anders, S.M. Gender Inequities in Household Labor Predict Lower Sexual Desire in Women Partnered with Men. Arch Sex Behav 51, 3847–3870 (2022). DOI: <>.
Cover art by Cato Benschop (IG: @catobenschop).
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Copyright 2024 The Pinkonomics Podcast. All rights reserved.

Monday Jul 01, 2024

The next two episodes are about game theory and bargaining models (and economists looooove talking about models), so I thought I’d spend this episode telling you how scientific models work, why they’re all wrong, and why economic models are especially prone to error. I also talk about Catharine MacKinnon’s feminist method, and why a feminist economics grounded in the personal lives and experiences of women is one way to counter the erroneousness of economic models, which are heavily informed by the personal experiences and opinions of men.
Box, G. E. P. “Robustness in the Strategy of Scientific Model Building.” Robustness in Statistics, 1979, pp. 201-236. DOI: <>.
Colander, D., Goldberg, M., Haas, A., Juselius, K., Kirman, A., Lux, T., & Sloth, B. (2009). THE FINANCIAL CRISIS AND THE SYSTEMIC FAILURE OF THE ECONOMICS PROFESSION. Critical Review, 21(2–3), 249–267. DOI: <>.
MacKinnon, Catharine A. “Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: Toward Feminist Jurisprudence.” Signs, Summer 1983, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 635–658. JSTOR stable link: <>.
“Empowering Girls & Women.” Clinton Global Initiative. 2009. <>.
Rink, Ute and Barros, Laura. “Spending or saving? Female empowerment and financial decisions in a matrilineal society.” World Development, Vol. 141, 2021. <>.
Shapiro, Fred R. “The Most-Cited Law Review Articles Revisited.” Symposium on Trends in Legal Citations and Scholarship, Chicago-Kent Law Review, April 1996. <>.
Boustan, Leah and Langan, Andrew. “Variation in Women’s Success across PhD Programs in Economics.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 33, No. 1, Winter 2019. DOI: <10.1257/jep.33.1.23>.
Further Reading
“Why Economists Failed to Predict the Financial Crisis.” Knowledge at Wharton, May 2009. <>.
Parker, Kim. “Women more than men adjust their careers for family life.” Pew Research Center, 2015. <>.
You can also see this New York Times Opinion article by Raj Chetty that takes the opposing view that Economics is a science: <>.
Cover art by Cato Benschop (IG: @catobenschop).
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Copyright 2024 The Pinkonomics Podcast. All rights reserved.

Monday Jun 24, 2024

When most of us think of the impact of sexual violence, we think of the physical or psychological pain and trauma caused by the incident — but rarely of the economic costs that the victim then has to bear for the rest of their life. And this is exactly Liz Karns’ area of research.
Karns is a lawyer and epidemiologist whose practice involves applying statistical methods to legal problems such as sexual assault damages, and occupational and environmental injuries. She holds a BA in Economics from Reed College, an MPH in Epidemiology from Rutgers University, and a JD from Quinnipiac University Law School. Currently she is a senior lecturer in Statistics and Data Science in the Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, Cornell University.
Watch Liz’s interview with eCornell, “Adding It Up: The Lifetime Costs of Sexual Violence and Misconduct”: <>.
TW: Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence, Rape
00:02:04 Introduction
00:03:33 Economic Costs of Physical and Psychological Injuries, Lost Opportunities
00:05:46 Economic Damages of Sexual Violence and Abuse on Campus
00:07:40 The ‘But-For’ Argument
00:08:54 Injury from Car Crashes vs. Injury from Sexual Violence
00:10:13 Can We Attach a Monetary Cost to Sexual Crimes?
00:13:55 Why Money Matters, and Why It’s Important to Focus on Subsequent Costs
00:15:18 How Perpetrators Can Be Made to Pay
00:16:36 Tax and Wage Garnishment
00:18:19 Victims Need Time to Recover, and to Decide if Reporting Is Worth It
00:21:30 Recovering, and Documenting All Costs
00:23:27 Societal Change Takes Effort, Laws Supporting Economic Argument
00:25:06 Does Backlash Mean Progress?
Peterson C, DeGue S, Florence C, Lokey CN. “Lifetime Economic Burden of Rape Among U.S. Adults.” Am J Prev Med. 2017 Jun;52(6):691-701. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.11.014. Epub 2017 Jan 30. PMID: 28153649; PMCID: PMC5438753.
“Sexual Assault on Campus: A Frustrating Search for Justice.” The Center for Public Integrity, 2010. <>.
Cantor, D., Fisher, B., Chibnall, S., Harps, S., Townsend, R., Thomas, G., Lee, H., Kranz, V., Herbison, R., & Madden, K. (2019). Report on the AAU Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. Association of American Universities.
Koss, M.P., Gidycz, C.A., Wisniewski, N. (1987). The scope of rape: Incidence and prevalence of sexual aggression and victimization in a national sample of higher education students. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55(2), 162–170.
Van Dam, Andrew. “Less than 1% of rapes lead to felony convictions. At least 89% of victims face emotional and physical consequences.” The Washington Post, 2018. <>.
See Also
“The MeToo Backlash.” Harvard Business Review, 2019. <>
“A Wider Lens on the MeToo Backlash: Who Pays for ...A Wider Lens on the MeToo Backlash: Who Pays for Societal Change?” The New York Times, 2022. <>.
Cover art by Cato Benschop (IG: @catobenschop).
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Copyright 2024 The Pinkonomics Podcast. All rights reserved.

Friday Jun 14, 2024

TW: Thinness, Pursuit of Thinness, Eating Disorders, Eating Behaviors
According to The Economist, it is economically rational for women to pursue thinness. I invite my friend Cato Benschop to examine this argument and discuss her views on the pursuit of thinness and eating disorders. We also ask whether or not it’s worth it for women to spend their time on this goal. What Cato does best is use philosophical perspectives to provide some conceptual clarity around eating disorders, and she has a simultaneously bold and empowering take here, that eating disorders are extreme versions of problems that are only to be expected in a society that values thinness so much.
Cato is an illustrator and philosophical researcher at Utrecht University, specializing in philosophical analysis of eating disorders — or as she prefers to refer to these conditions, eating problems. Last year, she founded a practice for combating this problem in Amsterdam, called “BEC,” where she helps people get rid of suffering and distress relating to eating. You can find out more about Cato on her website:
00:04:50 Cato Introduction
00:05:46 How Philosophy of Mind and Agency Can Help Clarify Conceptual Confusion Surrounding EDs
00:07:36 Do People with EDs Have Agency over Their Eating Behaviors?
00:10:39 Where Does the Desire to Be Thin Come From?
00:17:04 The Economist’s “The Economics of Thinness”
00:17:51 Cato on Why the Pursuit of Thinness Is Important to People (Especially Women)
00:21:31 Eating Disorders vs. Eating Problems
00:33:37 Getting out of Dieting Trouble
00:37:20 Different Goals to Pursue in Lieu of Thinness
00:40:04 Broadening the Standard Medical View of Eating Behaviors
00:41:50 How Thinness Declines in Importance
00:44:07 Having New Goals and Pursuits
00:46:30 The Utility of Pursuing Thinness vs. Other Goals
“The Economics of Thinness.” The Economist, December 2022. <>.
Manne, Kate. "Diet Culture Is Unhealthy. It's Also Immoral." The New York Times, January 2022. <>.
Cato also discusses Susan Bordo’s work in her discussion of eating disorders; Bordo’s book Unbearable Weight was published by the University of California Press in 2004. DOI: <>.
Cover art by Cato Benschop (IG: @catobenschop).
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Copyright 2024 The Pinkonomics Podcast. All rights reserved.

Friday Jun 07, 2024

Adam Smith's 'Invisible Hand' theory has dominated our understanding of economic behavior for centuries. But we don't understand Smith very well -- and we don't understand the choices of women very well, especially when it comes to the fulfilment of self-interest.
Smith, Adam. The Theory of Moral Sentiments, with an introduction by Amartya Sen and notes by Ryan Patrick Hanley. Penguin, 2009.
Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations Books I–III. Edited with an introduction and notes by Andrew Skinner. Penguin, 1999.
Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations Books IV–V. Edited with an introduction and notes by Andrew Skinner. Penguin, 1999.
Evensky, Jerry M., “Adam Smith’s Essentials: On Trust, Faith, and Free Markets.” 2011. Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 249-268, 2011.
Plato. The Republic, edited by G. R. F. Ferrari, translated by Tom Griffith. Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Sen, Amartya. “Adam Smith and the contemporary world.” Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2010, pp. 50-67.
Scott, Linda. The Cost of Sexism: How the Economy Is Built for Men and Why We Must Reshape It. Faber & Faber, 2020.
Further Reading
Birch, Thomas D. “An Analysis of Adam Smith’s Theory of Charity and the Problems of the Poor.” Eastern Economic Journal 24, no. 1 (1998): 25–41.
Perelman, Michael. “The Neglected Economics of Trust: The Bentham Paradox and Its Implications.” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology 57, no. 4 (1998): 381–89.
Cover art by Cato Benschop (IG: @catobenschop).
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Copyright 2024 The Pinkonomics Podcast. All rights reserved.

Friday Jun 07, 2024

Introducing The Pinkonomics Podcast, a summer 2024 project by Arundhati Singh.
Cover art by Cato Benschop (IG: @catobenschop).
Follow the podcast on X: @pinkonomicspod (
Copyright 2024 The Pinkonomics Podcast. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2024 All rights reserved.

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