Irene van Staveren, born in Heemskerk, the Netherlands, in 1963. Ph.D. from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Professor of Pluralist Development Economics at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Fellow (1 February 2010 – 30 June 2010)
INTRODUCTION TO GENDER AND ECONOMICS
I did two studies on the financial crisis. One of these concerns an analysis of the volatility of foreign direct investments for developing countries. It shows that volatility increases over time and that in the long run mergers and acquisitions are more volatile, whereas during crisis periods, greenfield investments appear to be more volatile. The second project is a gender analysis and ethical analysis of the financial crisis under the title of “The Lehman Sisters Hypothesis”. It argues that the crisis is due to excessive risk taking, increasing systemic uncertainty and moral hazard (shifting risks to others). This expresses the opposite of an ethics of care, which focuses on responsibility, long-term relationships, and reducing uncertainty. This ethics of care tends to be particularly expressed through women’s behaviour, also in finance: women take fewer risks, try less often to beat the market and therefore have lower transaction costs, and are more cooperative.