IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cam/camdae/1753.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Publishing while Female. Are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review

Author

Listed:
  • Hengel, E.

Abstract

I use readability scores to test if referees and/or editors apply higher standards to women's writing in academic peer review. I find: (i) female-authored papers are 1-6 percent better written than equivalent papers by men; (ii) the gap is two times higher in published articles than in earlier, draft versions of the same papers; (iii) women's writing gradually improves but men's does not-meaning the readability gap grows over authors' careers. In a dynamic model of an author's decision-making process, I show that tougher editorial standards and/or biased referee assignment are uniquely consistent with this pattern of choices. A conservative causal estimate derived from the model suggests senior female economists write at least 9 percent more clearly than they otherwise would. These findings indicate that higher standards burden women with an added time tax and probably contribute to academia's "Publishing Paradox" Consistent with this hypothesis, I find female-authored papers spend six months longer in peer review. More generally, tougher standards impose a quantity/quality tradeoff that characterises many instances of female output. They could resolve persistently lower-otherwise unexplained-female productivity in many high-skill occupations.

Suggested Citation

  • Hengel, E., 2017. "Publishing while Female. Are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1753, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1753
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe1753.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benjamin Artz & Amanda H. Goodall & Andrew J. Oswald, 2018. "Do Women Ask?," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 611-636, October.
    2. Ghazala Azmat & Rosa Ferrer Zarzuela, 2012. "Gender gaps in performance: Evidence from young lawyers," Economics Working Papers 1300, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2015.
    3. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-941.
    4. Sean P. Salter & Franklin G. Mixon & Ernest W. King, 2012. "Broker beauty and boon: a study of physical attractiveness and its effect on real estate brokers’ income and productivity," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(10), pages 811-825, May.
    5. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    6. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
    7. McFadden, K. L., 1996. "Comparing pilot-error accident rates of male and female airline pilots," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 443-450, August.
    8. Ghazala Azmat & Rosa Ferrer, 2017. "Gender Gaps in Performance: Evidence from Young Lawyers," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/3t1fcs7p369, Sciences Po.
    9. Dylan Glover & Amanda Pallais & William Pariente, 2017. "Discrimination as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from French Grocery Stores," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1219-1260.
    10. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "Explaining the Gender Gap in Math Test Scores: The Role of Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 129-144, Spring.
    11. Heather Sarsons, 2015. "Recognition for Group Work," Working Paper 254946, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    12. Tim Loughran & Bill Mcdonald, 2014. "Measuring Readability in Financial Disclosures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(4), pages 1643-1671, August.
    13. Christopher A. Parsons & Johan Sulaeman & Michael C. Yates & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2011. "Strike Three: Discrimination, Incentives, and Evaluation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1410-1435, June.
    14. Boring, Anne, 2017. "Gender biases in student evaluations of teaching," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 27-41.
    15. Anusha Chari & Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, 2017. "Gender Representation in Economics Across Topics and Time: Evidence from the NBER Summer Institute," NBER Working Papers 23953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1994. "Facts and Myths about Refereeing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 153-163, Winter.
    17. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2016. "A Most Egalitarian Profession: Pharmacy and the Evolution of a Family-Friendly Occupation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 705-746.
    18. Glenn Ellison, 2002. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 947-993, October.
    19. Lavy, Victor & Sand, Edith, 2015. "On The Origins of Gender Human Capital Gaps: Short and Long Term Consequences of Teachers’ Stereotypical Biases," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1085, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    20. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna, 2013. "Nine Facts about Top Journals in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 144-161, March.
    21. Geoffrey Turnbull & Jonathan Dombrow, 2007. "Individual Agents, Firms, and the Real Estate Brokerage Process," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 57-76, July.
    22. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    23. Krawczyk, Michał & Smyk, Magdalena, 2016. "Author׳s gender affects rating of academic articles: Evidence from an incentivized, deception-free laboratory experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 326-335.
    24. Jyrki Niskanen & Jukka Karjalainen & Mervi Niskanen & Jussi Karjalainen, 2011. "Auditor gender and corporate earnings management behavior in private Finnish firms," Managerial Auditing Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 26(9), pages 778-793, October.
    25. Jason Abrevaya & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2012. "Charity and Favoritism in the Field: Are Female Economists Nicer (To Each Other)?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 202-207, February.
    26. Claudia Goldin, 2014. "A Grand Gender Convergence: Its Last Chapter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1091-1119, April.
    27. Pertold-Gebicka, Barbara & Pertold, Filip & Datta Gupta, Nabanita, 2016. "Employment Adjustments around Childbirth," IZA Discussion Papers 9685, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    28. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
    29. Anusha Chari & Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, 2017. "Gender representation in economics across topics and time: evidence from the NBER," Staff Reports 825, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    30. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    31. Suzanne Heller Clain & Karen Leppel, 2018. "Patterns in Economics Journal Acceptances and Rejections," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 63(1), pages 94-109, March.
    32. Ashenfelter, Orley & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Estimates of the Economic Returns to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1157-1173, December.
    33. Bransch, Felix & Kvasnicka, Michael, 2017. "Male Gatekeepers Gender Bias in the Publishing Process?," IZA Discussion Papers 11089, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    34. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard & Jenna Stearns, 2018. "Equal but Inequitable: Who Benefits from Gender-Neutral Tenure Clock Stopping Policies?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(9), pages 2420-2441, September.
    35. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Devah Pager & Jörg L. Spenkuch, 2013. "Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 633-689.
    36. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    37. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350.
    38. repec:hrv:faseco:33973831 is not listed on IDEAS
    39. Joshua S. Gans & George B. Shepherd, 1994. "How Are the Mighty Fallen: Rejected Classic Articles by Leading Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 165-179, Winter.
    40. Ashley C. Craig & Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2017. "Complementary Bias: A Model of Two-Sided Statistical Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 23811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    41. Philip Seagraves & Paul Gallimore, 2013. "The Gender Gap in Real Estate Sales: Negotiation Skill or Agent Selection?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 41(3), pages 600-631, September.
    42. Donna K. Ginther & Shulamit Kahn, 2004. "Women in Economics: Moving Up or Falling Off the Academic Career Ladder?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 193-214, Summer.
    43. Ghazala Azmat & Rosa Ferrer, 2017. "Gender Gaps in Performance: Evidence from Young Lawyers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(5), pages 1306-1355.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Economics needs to do more than attract women to solve its gender problem
      by ? in Forum:Blog on 2019-06-21 06:49:43

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna & Patricia Funk & Nagore Iriberri, 2020. "Are Referees and Editors in Economics Gender Neutral?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(1), pages 269-327.
    2. Lorenzo Ductor & Sanjeev Goyal & Anja Prummer, 2018. "Gender & Collaboration," Working Papers 856, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    3. Laura Hospido & Carlos Sanz, 2019. "Gender gaps in the evaluation of research: evidence from submissions to economics conferences (Updated March 2020)," Working Papers 1918, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage, revised Mar 2020.
    4. Hospido, Laura & Sanz, Carlos, 2019. "Gender Gaps in the Evaluation of Research: Evidence from Submissions to Economics Conferences," IZA Discussion Papers 12494, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Shoshana Grossbard & Tansel Yilmazer & Lingrui Zhang, 2018. "The Gender Gap in Citations: Lessons from Demographic Economics Journals," Working Papers 2018-078, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    6. Dowling, Michael & Hammami, Helmi & Zreik, Ousayna, 2018. "Easy to read, easy to cite?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 100-103.
    7. Karen Mumford & Cristina Sechel, 2020. "Pay and Job Rank among Academic Economists in the UK: Is Gender Relevant?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 58(1), pages 82-113, March.
    8. Ganguli, Ina & Le Coq, Chloé & Huysentruyt, Marieke, 2018. "How Do Nascent Social Entrepreneurs Respond to Rewards? A Field Experiment on Motivations in a Grant Competition," SITE Working Paper Series 46, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, revised 21 Mar 2020.
    9. Julian Kolev & Yuly Fuentes-Medel & Fiona Murray, 2019. "Is Blinded Review Enough? How Gendered Outcomes Arise Even Under Anonymous Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 25759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Minasyan, Anna & Zenker, Juliane & Klasen, Stephan & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2019. "Educational gender gaps and economic growth: A systematic review and meta-regression analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 199-217.
    11. Stéphanie Combes & Pauline Givord, 2018. "Selective matching: gender gap and network formation in research," Working Papers 2018-07, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    12. Diego Marino Fages, 2020. "Write better, publish better," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 122(3), pages 1671-1681, March.
    13. Josephson, Anna & Michler, Jeffrey D., 2018. "Viewpoint: Beasts of the field? Ethics in agricultural and applied economics," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 1-11.
    14. Sabrina T. Howell & Ramana Nanda, 2019. "Networking Frictions in Venture Capital, and the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship," NBER Working Papers 26449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Ina Ganguli & Marieke Huysentruyt & Chloe Le Coq, 2018. "How Do Nascent Social Entrepreneurs Respond to Rewards? A Field Experiment on Motivations in a Grant Competition," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2018-21, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    16. Valerie K. Bostwick & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2018. "Nevertheless She Persisted? Gender Peer Effects in Doctoral STEM Programs," NBER Working Papers 25028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Laurie Cameron & William N. Goetzmann & Milad Nozari, 2019. "Art and gender: market bias or selection bias?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 43(2), pages 279-307, June.
    18. Della Giusta, Marina & Vukadinovic-Greetham, Danica & Jaworska, Sylvia, 2018. "Tweeting Economists: Antisocial in the socials?," MPRA Paper 89527, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1753. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jake Dyer). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.