Much like their authors, the ideas behind books can grow and change on the way from proposal to manuscript. I originally planned to join the discussion on care and ecomics at a different, more policy-oriented level, hoping to identify the conditions under which caring services are taken to the market. In approaching the task, however, I realized that ecomic science lacked an overall concept of caring. Ecomists' tions of caring and their kwledge of its basic elements and structural characteristics were fragmented. Caring activities were treated in the context of household work, unpaid work, or subsistence and informal work. None of the different approaches shared a common frame of reference. This has made it impossible to study caring activities across the various realms of the ecomy, independent of whether provided in a family setting, purchased on the market, or supplied by the state or society. I therefore found I had to begin my questioning earlier, at the level of basic understandings and concepts.
Maren A. Jochimsen is an economist holding a doctorate from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, where she subsequently worked as researcher. Further affiliations have included the University of Cambridge, Harvard University, and the University of Amsterdam. She is co-founder of the Network Caring Economy and founding member of the International Association for Feminist Economics Europe. She has published on ecological economics, institutional economics, and care and economics. Maren A. Jochimsen is currently employed at the Guarantee Bank for Social Economy (Burgschaftsbank f