Article Highlights

Feminist Economics Highlights: Information and Examples


Since 2015, Feminist Economics has published its successful series of Research Notes (FERNs), concise article summaries that have proven highly useful for teaching and advocacy. Starting with our 2020 volume, we are changing the FERN format to one that journal readers can more easily access. We will include a “Highlights” section in all of our published articles, a new approach that we believe will encourage downloads and citations, as well as attract readers unfamiliar with the journal. 

Upon manuscript acceptance, authors are asked to submit a bulleted list of 3 – 5 main ideas or policy implications from their articles. This list will be style edited and typeset along with the rest of the article, and will appear just after the abstract. Since the points are an integral part of the article, the journal will not publish any accepted work that does not include them. 

  • “Highlights” should concisely convey the main findings or key points readers would expect to gain from reading the full article – brief background or reasons for writing the article, methodological insights (especially if novel), findings/conclusion, and/or policy implications. 
  • These points should not directly restate the abstract, but should instead be focused on policy implications where appropriate, or clearly and concisely state the main theoretical insights.
  • To fit both the article abstract (150 words) and “Highlights” on the first page of the published article, the points should be no longer than 200 words. 
  • Where appropriate, authors of research articles should try to include at least one policy implication of the work in their points. It is fine (and encouraged) to include more than one.
  • Authors of some types of manuscripts may not have policy implications to highlight. However, they should highlight the key contributions of their work and implications for future research, if any.




Sample Highlights for “Poverty in US Lesbian and Gay Couple Households,” by Alyssa Schneebaum and M. V. Lee Badgett

 (Feminist Economics 25.1)

  • Past research has found that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the US are more likely to be poor than non-LGBT people, but the reasons are little studied. 
  • This paper examines the “hidden poverty gap” and makes the existence of LGBT poverty more visible and more urgent for policymakers.
  • Same-sex couples have characteristics that correlate with a lower risk of poverty (higher levels of employment, education, and childlessness); however, they get less protection from those characteristics. If people in same-sex couples had the same characteristics as different-sex couples, they would have a higher raw poverty rate.
  • Local, state, and federal agencies could commission research and initiate data collection that would lead to a better understanding of these needs and challenges unique to low-income LGBT couples.
  • Social-service providers should assess how well income support programs and human services meet the needs of low-income LGBT people
  • Policies designed to reduce employment discrimination and to raise the minimum wage would reduce poverty for all, including LGBT people. 


Sample Highlights for “Patriarchy versus Islam: Gender and Religion in Economic Growth,” by Elissa Braunstein 

(Feminist Economics 20.1)

  • A subset of the economics literature on gender inequality and development uses Islam as a proxy for traditional culture or as an exemplar of a “taste” for gender discrimination. 
  • However, when studying the relationship between gender inequality and economic growth, using affiliation with Islam is neither a theoretically nor statistically robust proxy for patriarchal preferences. 
  • Models that use religious affiliation as a control for culture produce misleading conclusions and draw attention away from the role of patriarchal power. Direct measures of patriarchal institutions provide better insight into the role of patriarchy as a system of male advantage, which incurs costs akin to those generated by rent-seeking activities. 
  • This study makes clear that religious affiliation in itself is not directly responsible for slowed economic growth, but rather patriarchal institutions. 
  • Policy makers should avoid drawing easy equivalences between Muslim communities and economic irrationality or gender bias. 
  • When considering how gender inequality is economically costly, policy makers need to include understandings of patriarchal rent seeking, or economically unproductive activities devoted to establishing or maintaining patriarchal privilege. 


Sample Highlights for “Unfolding Patterns of Unpaid Household Work in Latin America,” by Verónica Amarante and Cecilia Rossel 

 (Feminist Economics 24.1)

  • Latin American countries differ in many aspects, and the gender gap in the distribution of unpaid work is not an exception in this heterogeneity. 
  • In Colombia, women devote 4.3 more hours to unpaid work than men; in Mexico, this difference is 3.7 hours, while in Uruguay and Peru the gap is 3 hours and 2.7 hours, respectively.
  • Traditional gender roles and existing welfare architecture are both relevant factors in understanding variations in how unpaid work is distributed between men and women in these countries. 
  • Differences between the four countries in terms of gender gaps in the allocation of unpaid work go beyond differences in configurations of individual-level variables, suggesting that structural, institutional, and cultural factors are key for explaining men’s and women’s decisions on how to distribute their time between paid and unpaid work in Latin America.
  • This study indicates to policy makers in these four countries that more attention should be paid to the role specific policies (such as leaves, care policies, and labor market regulations) play in shaping the allocation of paid and unpaid work in their countries.