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Economists on Under-compensation of Labor in the Arts

Critical Distance Podcasts - CUE Art Foundation

02/06/15 • 75 min

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Feminist Labor Economists Deborah M. Figart, Ellen Mutari, and Catherine Mulder discuss the undervaluation of work in the arts and humanities, what you should know about changing the labor market, and its implications for artists and society.

About the speakers:
Dr. Deborah M. Figart is Professor of Education and Economics and Director of the Stockton Center for Economic and Financial Literacy, which serves as the southern regional office of the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education. Dr. Figart received a Ph.D. in Economics from The American University in 1986 and a B.A. in Economics, summa cum laude, from Wheaton College in 1981. Dr. Figart is an internationally-known scholar in the field of labor and employment issues, and has written on the subjects of pay equity and labor discrimination, labor-management relations, working time, emotional labor at work, minimum and living wage issues, job evaluation, and career ladders. She will be the incoming President of the Association for Evolutionary Economics in 2016.

Professor Catherine Mulder, an assistant professor of economics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice-CUNY, specializes in labor economics and political economy. She has been a worker advocate and labor activist for over 30 years: from being an IBEW shop steward to Co-Speaker of her Graduate Student (employee) union, GEO-UAW, as a paid union representative in Manhattan for the American Federation of Musicians, Local 802, and most recently a member of PSC-CUNY, AFT Local 2334. Released in 2009 by Routledge Publishers, her book, Unions and Class Transformation: The Case of the Broadway Musicians details the role a union can take in usurping capitalism. Her most recent article, “Wal-Mart’s Role in Capitalism,” will appear in Rethinking Marxism.

Ellen Mutari is Professor of Economics at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey where she has taught since 1999. Mutari previously held visiting positions at the New School for Social Research, Rutgers University, and Monmouth University. She is the coauthor of the forthcoming Just One More Hand: Life in the Casino Economy, as well as other books and articles on contemporary employment issues, the history of labor market policies, and feminist political economy methodology. She was the Editor for the Routledge IAFFE Advances in Feminist Economics book series from 2008-2013, and is President Elect of the Association for Social Economics.

This program is the second in the series if it's not work it must be PLAY: discussions on the state of work in the arts. This series is presented by CUE, and produced by our inaugural Public Programming Fellow, Cevan Castle. For more information, visit The PLAY series is part of Meeting Artists' Needs.

Recorded live December 5, 2015.

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