Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?: A story about women and economics

Katrine Marcal

Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?: A story about women and economics
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Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?: A story about women and economics

Katrine Marcal

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.

When Adam Smith wrote that all our actions stem from self-interest and that the world turns because of financial gain, he brought to life ‘economic man’. Selfish and cynical, economic man has dominated our thinking ever since, and his influence has spread from the market to how we shop, work, and date. But every night Adam Smith’s mother served him his dinner - not out of self-interest, but out of love.

Today, our economics focuses on self-interest and excludes all other motivations. It disregards the unpaid work of mothering, caring, cleaning, and cooking. It insists that if women are paid less, that’s because their labour is worth less. How could it be otherwise?

Economics has told us a story about how the world works, and we have swallowed it - hook, line, and sinker. Now it’s time to change the story.

In this courageous look at the mess we’re in, Katrine Marçal tackles the biggest myth of our time, and invites us to kick out economic man once and for all.

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