Women in Economics: Moving Up or Falling Off the Academic Career Ladder?
Economics require mathematical skills and analytical abilities that attract people with a comparative advantage in these skills. The natural disciplines with which to compare economics are statistics, the physical sciences, the life sciences and engineering. A significantly larger percentage of women obtain doctorates in the life sciences, political science and statistics than in economics. The last few years growth in economics doctorates granted to females has slowed or stopped.
Women are less likely to get tenure at their first academic job compared to men. Women economists do publish fewer papers than men. Perhaps women academics publish less because they are more likely to be in non-tenure track jobs or to spend more time on teaching, advising and administrative work or perhaps women have fewer resources, including research assistants and course reductions.
Male economists are more likely to be married and have children, but the effects of marriage and children differ by gender. One possibility is that women interrupt their careers to follow their husbands. Presence of children may also reduce productivity since women are more likely to be the primary care-givers. Women with children are equally productive as men, but these women are less likely to receive tenure.