Brian Fallow

The Economics Editor of the NZ Herald

Waring gains economics honour

Marilyn Waring has been recognised for her contribution to the economics of unpaid work.Photo / Dean Purcell
Marilyn Waring has been recognised for her contribution to the economics of unpaid work.Photo / Dean Purcell

Feminist economist Professor Marilyn Waring is this year's winner of the NZIER Economics award.

Now professor of public policy at the Auckland University of Technology, Waring, then a National MP, famously triggered Sir Robert Muldoon's calling of the 1984 snap election by threatening to cross the floor and vote for nuclear-free New Zealand legislation.

She is 2014's economist of the year in recognition, the judges said, of her "unusual courage and persistence in campaigning for full recognition of the economic worth of contributions made outside of the formal labour markets, which had for decades been regarded as too hard to measure accurately, and thus had not been measured at all".

Waring's 1988 book Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women Are Worth has had an extensive international impact, the judges said.

"Further books and articles have sustained the writer's arguments and reasoning, and extended them to the discussion of the recognition in economic assessments of the worth, and if possible measurement, of voluntary, in the sense of unpaid or only notionally paid, work of all kinds."

- NZ Herald

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