A feminist analysis of women’s work experiences in finance – Kristina Kaempfer
In a 2009 Guardian article, Ruth Sutherland raised the question If Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters, run by women instead of men, would the credit crunch have happened? Both within feminist theory and behavioural economics, the gendered dimension of the global financial crisis – its cause(s) as well as its consequence(s) – remain contested. Attributing risk-taking behaviour to male investment bankers, a majority of these gendered narratives focuses on masculinity and men. By doing so, they overlook women’s work experiences in financial services.
But how do women navigate one of the most uncontested spaces of male privilege and especially the stereotypes that shape not only their participation and representation in this space but also their work? What understanding of equality does the finance industry nurture and how do women working in finance relate to policies promoting gender equality? And under which conditions are women actually able to succeed in finance? For my presentation, I will draw on a first round of interviews I conducted in March 2016 for my MSt dissertation. For this, I spoke to ten women working in junior and senior positions in Frankfurt and London about their experience as a woman in finance. I will discuss the implications of my research for feminist theory and financial geography, within which my current DPhil project on women in finance is situated.
Reducing informality through taxation: The case of Paraguay – Jonas Richter
Informality remains a prevalent and persistent issue in developing countries such as Paraguay. At the same time a growing literature argues for an interrelation between a broader tax base and a country’s economic as well as democratic development. A strand of this literature accordingly focuses on the means of taxing the informal sector and argues in this regard for positive revenue, growth and political implications of such an approach. Based on semi-structured, open-ended interviews with market participants, bureaucrats, current and former leading politicians and experts, this thesis analyses Paraguay’s 2004 and 2012 tax reforms, which lead to a broader tax base. It shows that in particular the country’s personal income tax, as well as other alterations in the tax system, constitute an incentive mechanism that leads to a formalisation process of economic activity and thus to the wider tax base. In this regard, the thesis outlines the policy drafting and implementation process, it illustrates, also upon tax data, how the reform initiates a rising demand of formalised purchases from both customers and businesses, and hints towards a potential way of how the taxpayer respond politically to the enhanced fiscal imperative.