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Diversity in Tastes, Values, and Preferences: Comment on Jonung and Ståhlberg


  • Catherine Hakim


This paper comments on the lead symposium article, “Reaching the Top?—On Gender Balance in the Economics Profession,†by Christina Jonung and Ann-Charlotte Ståhlberg. Jonung and Ståhlberg demonstrate that the economics profession recruits few women even in (or especially in) western Europe. This comment presents an alternative explanation, called preference theory, based on women’s greater propensity to prefer work-life balance, in contrast to men’s greater propensity to prefer work-centred lifestyles. Intellectual ability alone does not predict success in a career. Relevant life goals and motivation matter greatly.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Hakim, 2008. "Diversity in Tastes, Values, and Preferences: Comment on Jonung and StÃ¥hlberg," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 5(2), pages 204-218, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:5:y:2008:i:2:p:204-218

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Catherine Hakim, 2003. "A New Approach to Explaining Fertility Patterns: Preference Theory," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(3), pages 349-374.
    2. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stern, Charlotta, 2016. "Does political ideology hinder insights on gender and labor markets?," Ratio Working Papers 275, The Ratio Institute.
    2. Fredrik Carlsson & Åsa Löfgren & Thomas Sterner, 2012. "Discrimination in Scientific Review: A Natural Field Experiment on Blind versus Non-Blind Reviews," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 500-519, June.

    More about this item


    economics; women; gender; gender balance; career advancement;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics


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