Antonella Picchio was born in Conegliano in 1941. She taught History of Economic Thought, Macro Economics, Gender Economics and Human Development at the Marco Biagi Faculty of Economics of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. She has also taught at the universities of Roma Tre, Ferrara, Trento and at the New School of Social Research in New York. She was vice president of IAFFE and she served as a member of the editorial board of Feminist Economics. She has worked on Well-being Gender Budgets at the Center of Analysis of Public Policy (CAPP) and at the Well-being Lab (www.wellblab.it) spin -off of the University of Modena.
She is internationally known for her studies on social reproduction and unpaid female work which drew strength and continued inspiration from her militancy within feminist movements that began in the 1970s. It is in fact within the collective Lotta Feminista (born in 1971 and composed, among others, by Mariarosa and Giovanna Franca Dalla Costa, Leopoldina Fortunati, Silvia Federici) that the political problem of women’s reproductive work within the home was linked with the capitalist mode of production and with the socio-economic organization based on wages. In this regard, Picchio’s critical studies on wage theory and on the classical economists and neoclassical economics approach to the issue of reproduction are of fundamental importance.
As a feminist economist, she underlines the importance of finding political theories and practices up to the radicality of the statement “Primum vivere” (title of the national feminist meeting of Paestum 2012): it means, for Picchio, that the complexity of lives – their care, their relationality as elements of the constitutive vulnerability of lives embodied in bodies – must be placed at the center of systemic analysis and radical political proposals. And the historical experience of women as reproductive workers can be today, according to Picchio, a privileged point of view to address this issue: how to live, how to organize our lives, between men and women.