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Don’t let another crisis go to waste: The COVID-19 pandemic and the imperative for a paradigm shift

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how globalized, market-based economies critically depend on a foundation of nonmarket goods, services, and productive activities that interact with capitalist institutions and impact market economies. These findings, long argued by feminist economists, have profound implications for how we think about our economic futures. This paper shows how lessons from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can inform how people think about the future of our economies and, specifically, how to address a trio of interlocking crises: care work, environmental degradation, and macroeconomic consequences. Drawing on these lessons, this paper argues for a necessary paradigm shift and discusses the implications of such a shift for social and economic policies.


  • The pandemic highlights the interlocking crises of care, the environment, and macroeconomics.

  • COVID-19 underscores the centrality of care in our economies.

  • The intensifying environmental crisis illustrates the neglect of nonmarket processes in dominant policy approaches.

  • The biggest contradictions in our economic systems result from the interactions between capitalist institutions and the nonmarket sphere.

Heintz, J., Staab, S., & Turquet, L. (2021). Don’t Let Another Crisis Go to Waste: The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Imperative for a Paradigm shift. Feminist Economics, 1-16.

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