Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Working Alternatives: American and Catholic Experiments in Work and Economy


This essay explores the care economy, defined as activity oriented toward sustaining life and promoting basic well-being, whether that activity is paid or unpaid. The essay finds parallels between Pope Benedict XI’s concerns about neoclassical economics as expressed in Caritas in Veritate and feminist scholarship addressing the care economy. Both Benedict and feminist economists challenge sharp binaries between the market and the state and affirm a spectrum of motives driving economic activity. Both Benedict and feminist economists critique an individualistic, voluntaristic anthropology of self-interest, and both understand true economic development to promote the holistic well-being of all persons. However, Benedict does not draw on scholarship about development and the care economy. Progress toward the vision of development outlined in CV requires consideration of this economy and acceptance of a more complex and pluralist account of the social organization of caregiving than Benedict envisions.

Publisher Name

Fordham University Press




ISBN-13: 9780823288359


Author Posting © Fordham University Press, 2020. This article is posted here for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Working Alternatives: American and Catholic Experiments in Work and Economy, January 2020,

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.