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Porto Conte Ricerche 8-13 June 2009

Quantitative and qualitative methodologies and their relative merits

in the research on gender and well-being

INTRODUCTIONby Elisabetta Addis

University of Sardinia in Sassariand Gender CAPP, Un. of Modena and R.E.

Why this school?The Cost Action and its resultsThe four symposiaProblems of communications between quantitativists and qualitativists in the disciplinesDefinition of quantitative and of qualitativeWhere from I speak (philosopher, feminist & economist; economics as historical evolution of moral philosophy; IAFFE, standpoint feminism, starting from oneself) My participation in the Gender and Science Project.t

E. Addis 3

Why womens horizontal (and vertical) segregation in science?


Femininization and lower value of disciplines are positively correlated

Implication: sciences are of different value Mathematization and higher value of a discipline are

positively correlated although Different role of formal mathematization and of the use of

statistics. Diana Strassman on two rethorics, (how are rethorics

learnt? Is one of them more transmissible?) New models of the brain: learning as an active process,

no two people see and learn the same, at any time learning function of who you were and where you were and are.

E. Addis 4

When is a science hard and when is it soft?

Dichotomic view (Nelson, 1996): Quantitative hard, qualitative soft Rigorous versus sloppy More effort versus less effort Exactness versus approximation Broadness versus narrowness General versus specific

E. Addis 5

Evidence based versus quantitative

In my lifetime, Economics went from being a narrative with an historical component, a social component, a mathematical component and a statistical component to a narrative where the non-quantitative narratives are delegitimized. Women are found more frequently in the non-quantitative field (Evidence: Carabelli Parisi and Rosselli). Economics hardened. But in my opinion it became LESS not more EVIDENCE BASED

E. Addis 6

What does methodological development do

to science as a social activity to knowledge, i.e. to sciences contents to women in science to the gender viewpont in knowledge

(subjective vewpoint, and gender in research content)

E. Addis 7

Methodological development allows one to:

answer questions unanswered before answer old ones more exactly put new questions give different answer to old questions Give a new frame of interpretation to the same old data

As byproducts: takes away legitimacy to old methodology results Decreases the possibility of communication among

disciplines Increases the value, power and appreciation of the


E. Addis 8

What about power relations, in general and between the sexes?

There is no doubt that science and technology empower human beings in the face of nature but also in the face of other human beings, and that therefore also mathematization, that kicked out women

Ideas of the seventies; which were not only Michel Foucault but also AntonGiulio Maccacaro, and its revolutionary use of statistics.

Use of statistics good for gender empowerment

E. Addis 9

Recent developments

Encroaching of quantitativists on themes studied by gender scholars either qualitatively or with less sophisticated level (Ichino and Alesina, Bertocchi).

Welcome development, (but why no credit?)

Use of statistics good for gender politics

E. Addis 10

Qualitative versus quantitative Two different rethorics The value of standardization The loss in intellectual biodiversity Different transmissibility: quantitative easier but

institutional; qualitative more difficult but easier to acquire for outsiders.

Qualitative is where hypotheses, or pre-scientific intuitions are born.

Social science and natural science are different: a scientist can be sloppy but does not a conflict of interest.

A practical demonstration: Gender Money and Capabilities, Barcelona


Capability is the freedom to achieve valuable beings and doings.

This freedom has two aspects, freedom to choose (ability to be an

agent)and freedom to achieve valued functionings

Socialist and liberal dimensions of the concept

E. Addis 12

Why is the capability approach important

Equilibrium between the single agent and the collective in which he/she is inserted.

WHO is the agent, the single or the household or the Institution?

Gender neutral and gender blind:The autistic agent of economics

Money good metric only in neoclassical economics.Yet, still unsolved the problems of: Interference between the need to care/not to care of

different individuals, therefore conflict And therefore power: who decide the standards?

E. Addis 13

Revisitation of an old project with a new approach: The problem of the Italian non-

participating woman Italian P.R.I.N. research (Economic Resources

and Care Resources: Acquiring, Managing and Spending between Genders and Generations) aim was to analyze using Italian data how money is shared within the family between members of different sexes and generations, trying to understand the process of decision making and the informal networks of giving money and help ,

E. Addis 14

La scatola nera in Conti aperti, edited by C. Facchini, Il Mulino, 2007

2500 + 500 C.A.T.I. interviews Rich, underanalyzed dataset My task: validation of the data with

comparison with SHIW, and find why were people not answering on income?

Some descriptive statistical results:

E. Addis 15

Distribution of monthly net income by sex


di 500da 501

a 700da 701

a 1000da

1001 a



1501 a


pi di


F Co fid

M Co fid0%










F Cofid

F shiw

M Co fid

M shiw

E. Addis 16

If we were to accept income distribution as a reasonable proxy for class, women form the mass of the proletarians, earning less than 500 euro a month, whilst the rich whoget more than 2000 euro per month for their efforts are mostly men.

Does this difference in money endowment imply a difference in the transformation of capabilities to functionings?According to Sen, it needs not be (careful to old A.S!).

E. Addis 17

Family income by income brackets in the North and in the South, Cofid














o di


da 701 a 10


da 1.

001 a


da 1.

301 a


da 1.

501 a


da 1.

751 a



da 2.101 a 250


da 250

1 a 30


da 3.001 a 390


pi di


Fascia di reddito mensile netto della famiglia





E. Addis 18

Average family income in the South is lower than in the North, partially because mens and womens earnings are lower in the South, partly because womens participation rate is lower than in the North. 24% of families in Southern Italy earn less than 1500 euro per month, while in Northern Italy that portion is only 17%. Only 13% of the Southern families earn on average more than 2500 euro per month, and that proportion is 16% in the North. The family income distribution in the South is markedly bimodal

E. Addis 19

Analysis according to the level of instruction of both partners. Couples who have the same level of instruction are in total 58%. In 18% of couples the woman has more education, in 23% the man. The probability of the family belonging to the highest income bracket is much higher if the educated one is the man.Marriage an escape route for women, not for men, due to low wage of educated women.

E. Addis 20

The existence of these differences between the south and the north suggested an hypothes.The lack of answers on the income questions, may have to do with the fact that many women don't work for pay. I had this pre-scientific notion:Each breadwinner may not wish to tell what his/her wage really is, in order not be enable the partner to make more claims; a woman who works for pay may know about her own earnings, and may have a pretty good idea of what the husband makes by knowing labor market wages, a housewife does not.

E. Addis 21

First I used an OLD METHODOLOGY: cross correlation: see table 3

Then I used a more sophisticated methodology: two probits, one with the other without the gender dummy, see table 4

The low level of education, which in the cross correlations seemed important, was not significant any more in the econometric analysis: the new method crowded out the old.

E. Addis 22

Then I added the dummy variable for sex, and the statistical significance of being a housewife fell from a T statistics of 3,24 to a T statistics of 1,45, i.e. went from being conventionally significant at the 95% probability level to be not significant at that level. In standard interpretation, being an housewife mattered in the first regression, it did not matter any more in the second. As we know, being a female strongly aff


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