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Are men and women-economists evenly distributed across research fields? Some new empirical evidence


  • Juan Dolado


  • Florentino Felgueroso
  • Miguel Almunia


This paper analyzes the gender distribution of research fields in economics based on a new dataset of almost 1,900 researchers affiliated to top-50 economics departments in 2005, as ranked by website. We document that women are unevenly distributed across fields and test some behavioral implications from theories underlying such disparities. Our main findings are that the probability that a woman works on a given field is positively related to the share of women already working on that field (path-dependence), and that this phenomenon is better explained by women avoiding male-dominated fields than by men avoiding female dominated fields. This pattern, however, is weaker for younger female researchers who spread more evenly across fields. Copyright The Author(s) 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Dolado & Florentino Felgueroso & Miguel Almunia, 2012. "Are men and women-economists evenly distributed across research fields? Some new empirical evidence," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 367-393, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:series:v:3:y:2012:i:3:p:367-393 DOI: 10.1007/s13209-011-0065-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, September.
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    3. Dolado, J. J. & Felgueroso, F. & Jimeno, J. F., 2001. "Female employment and occupational changes in the 1990s: How is the EU performing relative to the US?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 875-889, May.
    4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
    5. Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
    6. Shulamit B. Kahn, 1995. "Women in the Economics Profession," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 193-206, Fall.
    7. Booth, Alison L & Burton, Jonathan & Mumford, Karen, 2000. "The Position of Women in UK Academic Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(464), pages 312-333, June.
    8. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    9. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions in Economics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1346-1366, December.
    10. Francine Blau & Patricia Simpson & Deborah Anderson, 1998. "Continuing Progress? Trends in Occupational Segregation in the United States over the 1970s and 1980s," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 29-71.
    11. Sandra E. Black & Philip E. Strahan, 2001. "The Division of Spoils: Rent-Sharing and Discrimination in a Regulated Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 814-831, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nezih Guner & Ezgi Kaya & Virginia Sánchez-Marcos, 2014. "Gender gaps in Spain: policies and outcomes over the last three decades," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 61-103, March.
    2. O’Neill, Donal, 2015. "Divided opinion on the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013: Random or systematic differences?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 175-178.
    3. Manuel Bagues & Mauro Sylos-Labini & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2017. "Does the Gender Composition of Scientific Committees Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1207-1238, April.
    4. Carrasco, Raquel & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2016. "The gender productivity gap : some evidence for a set of highly productive academic economists," UC3M Working papers. Economics 23525, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    5. Manuel Bagues & Mauro Sylos-Labini & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2014. "Do gender quotas pass the test ? Evidence from academic evaluations in Italy," LEM Papers Series 2014/14, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    6. Sandra Krapf & Michaela Kreyenfeld & Katharina Wolf, 2016. "Gendered Authorship and Demographic Research: An Analysis of 50 Years of Demography," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(4), pages 1169-1184, August.

    More about this item


    Men and women-economists; Research fields; Gender segregation; Path-dependence; Multinomial logit models; A11; J16; J70;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General


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