Downton Abbey Feminists

Through the women of Downton Abbey, Mary, Edith and Gwen, we can see the beginning of a feminist evolution and then revolution described by Claudia Goldin.

How Your Lawn is About More Than Grass

Nothing but grass, lawns began as conspicuous consumption from the English and French aristocracy and now are a middle class manicured status symbol.

What Can We Learn From Downton Abbey Economics?

Downton Abbey can tell us a lot about the British economy…but not everything. We know the aristocracy is struggling. Many of the 700 families who had controlled 80% of all acreage during the 1870s faced financial collapse 50 years later.…

The Invention That Started to Close the Gender Gap

Worrying that labor saving devices would replace her, Downton Abbey’s cook, Mrs. Patmore, was not pleased with the new electric mixer that arrived in her kitchen in 1922. By contrast, if Edith does move out of Downton Abbey into more…

Downton Abbey Economics: Downstairs

Like a business affected by a structural change in the economy, the world was shifting downstairs at Downton Abbey. The “business” was run by Mr. Carson, the butler, and Mrs. Hughes, the head housekeeper, while Daisy, the scullery maid, was at…

Downton Abbey Economics: Upstairs

When Matthew Crawley, the new son-in-law investor/savior of Downton Abbey is invited to look at the books after handing over his inheritance to keep the financially sinking estate afloat, he discovers egregiously poor management. He also finds out that his…

Domestic Work

What do drip dry clothing, take-out food, dog walkers, dishwashers, dry cleaners, and dusty ceilings have in common? A servant shortage. Currently, Brazil has less household help because of economic growth. Low income women who had worked and lived in…