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Time and ‘Work-Life Conflict’

May 3, 2017

So far, capital has been resistant to the regulation of time. Rather than balance the demands of work and life, US capitalism was dependent on the hidden subsidy of the American wife, a behind-the-scenes, stay-at-home fixer of what economists call market failures. When women left the home—out of desire and necessity—the old system fell apart. Families and the larger economy have yet to recover, and employers' demands for more of their employees’ time is a growing reality in US capitalism.

Economist Heather Boushey, a New School PhD and outside advisor to the Hillary Clinton campaign, presented SCEPA's annual Irene & Bernard L. Schwartz Lecture, “The Political Economy of Time and Work-Life Conflict” on April 6th, 2016. 

Boushey argued that economic efficiency and equity are not natural enemies. In fact, they must be reconciled to fulfill our country’s economic potential. In her new book, Finding Time, Boushey presents innovations to help Americans find the time they need and help businesses attract more productive workers.

The lecture was followed by a panel discussion with Economics PhD student Katherine Moos and moderated by New School Economics Professor Teresa Ghilarducci.

Boushey is executive director and chief economist of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. The New York Times called Boushey one of the “most vibrant voices in the field.” She testifies often before Congress on economic policy issues and received her PhD in economics from The New School.

SCEPA's annual Irene & Bernard L. Schwartz Lecture works to contribute to discussion of the crucial policy issues facing the U.S. and world economies by bringing a distinguished speaker or panel to the university. Past speakers include Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman, Robert Rubin, Andy Stern and Laura Tyson.