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Does Science Promote Women? Evidence from Academia 1973-2001

  • Donna K. Ginther
  • Shulamit Kahn

Many studies have shown that women are under-represented in tenured ranks in the sciences. We evaluate whether gender differences in the likelihood of obtaining a tenure track job, promotion to tenure, and promotion to full professor explain these facts using the 1973-2001 Survey of Doctorate Recipients. We find that women are less likely to take tenure track positions in science, but the gender gap is entirely explained by fertility decisions. We find that in science overall, there is no gender difference in promotion to tenure or full professor after controlling for demographic, family, employer and productivity covariates and that in many cases, there is no gender difference in promotion to tenure or full professor even without controlling for covariates. However, family characteristics have different impacts on women's and men's promotion probabilities. Single women do better at each stage than single men, although this might be due to selection. Children make it less likely that women in science will advance up the academic job ladder beyond their early post-doctorate years, while both marriage and children increase men's likelihood of advancing.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12691.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12691.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Publication status: published as Does Science Promote Women? Evidence from Academia 1973-2001 , Donna K. Ginther, Shulamit Kahn. in Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment , Freeman and Goroff. 2009
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12691
Note: ED LS
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  1. 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.
  2. Kahn, Shulamit, 1993. "Gender Differences in Academic Career Paths of Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 52-56, May.
  3. Preston, Anne E, 1994. "Why Have All the Women Gone? A Study of Exit of Women from the Science and Engineering Professions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1446-62, December.
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