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Are Referees and Editors in Economics Gender Neutral?

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  • David Card
  • Stefano DellaVigna
  • Patricia Funk
  • Nagore Iriberri

Abstract

We study the role of gender in the evaluation of economic research using submissions to four leading journals. We find that referee gender has no effect on the relative assessment of female- versus male-authored papers, suggesting that any differential biases of male referees are negligible. To determine whether referees as a whole impose different standards for female authors, we compare citations for female and male-authored papers, holding constant referee evaluations and other characteristics. We find that female-authored papers receive about 25% more citations than observably similar male-authored papers. Editors largely follow the referees, resulting in a 6 percentage point lower probability of a revise and resubmit verdict for female-authored papers relative to a citation-maximizing benchmark. In their desk rejection decisions, editors treat female authors more favorably, though they still impose a higher bar than would be implied by citation-maximization. We find no differences in the informativeness of female versus male referees, or in the weight that editors place on the recommendations of female versus male referees. We also find no differences in editorial delays for female versus male-authored papers.

Suggested Citation

  • David Card & Stefano DellaVigna & Patricia Funk & Nagore Iriberri, 2019. "Are Referees and Editors in Economics Gender Neutral?," NBER Working Papers 25967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25967
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    Cited by:

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    3. Nancy Kong & Uwe Dulleck & Adam Jaffe & Shupeng Sun & Sowmya Vajjala, 2020. "Linguistic Metrics for Patent Disclosure: Evidence from University versus Corporate Patents," CESifo Working Paper Series 8571, CESifo.
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    5. Paredes, Valentina & Paserman, M. Daniele & Pino, Francisco J., 2020. "Does Economics Make You Sexist?," IZA Discussion Papers 13223, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Zoë B. Cullen & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2019. "The Old Boys' Club: Schmoozing and the Gender Gap," NBER Working Papers 26530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Pham, Tho & Talavera, Oleksandr, 2021. "Conference presentations and academic publishing," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 228-254.
    8. Cloos, Janis & Greiff, Matthias & Rusch, Hannes, 2020. "Geographical Concentration and Editorial Favoritism within the Field of Laboratory Experimental Economics (RM/19/029-revised-)," Research Memorandum 014, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    9. Gamage, Danula K. & Sevilla, Almudena & Smith, Sarah, 2020. "Women in Economics: A UK Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 13477, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Jonas Radbruch & Amelie Schiprowski, 2020. "Interview Sequences and the Formation of Subjective Assessments," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 045, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    11. Funk, Patricia & Iriberri, Nagore & Savio, Giulia, 2019. "Does Scarcity of Female Instructors Create Demand for Diversity among Students? Evidence from Observational and Experimental Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 14190, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Cloos, Janis & Greiff, Matthias & Rusch, Hannes, 2021. "Editorial favoritism in the field of laboratory experimental economics (RM/20/014-revised-)," Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    13. Brandts, Jordi & Rott, Christina, 2021. "Advice from women and men and selection into competition," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    14. Hamish Low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2019. "Disability Insurance: Error Rates and Gender Differences," NBER Working Papers 26513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Kerstin Grosch, Kerstin & Müller, Stephan & Rau, Holger A. & Zhurakhovska, Lilia, 2020. "Selection into Leadership and Dishonest Behavior of Leaders: A Gender Experiment," IHS Working Paper Series 19, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    16. Barron, Kai & Ditlmann, Ruth & Gehrig, Stefan & Schweighofer-Kodritsch, Sebastian, 2020. "Explicit and implicit belief-based gender discrimination: A hiring experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2020-306, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    17. Low, Hamish & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2019. "Disability Insurance: Error Rates and Gender Differences," CEPR Discussion Papers 14169, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Hamish Low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2019. "Disability Insurance: Error Rates and Gender Differences," Economics Series Working Papers 889, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    19. Hasan, Syed & Breunig, Robert, 2020. "Article Length and Citation Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 13045, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Kerstin Grosch & Stephan Müller & Holger A. Rau & Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2020. "Selection into Leadership and Dishonest Behavior of Leaders: A Gender Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 8514, CESifo.
    21. Christina Gravert & Katrine Thornfeldt Sørensen, 2020. "Gender differences in submission strategies? A survey of early-career economists," CEBI working paper series 20-22, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    22. Farré, Lídia & Ortega, Francesc, 2019. "Selecting Talent: Gender Differences in Participation and Success in Competitive Selection Processes," IZA Discussion Papers 12530, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    23. Hamish low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2019. "Disability Insurance: Error Rates and Gender Differences," Economics Papers 2019-W09, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    24. Paula Pereda & Matsunaga, Diaz, Borges, Chalco, Rocha, Narita, Brenck, 2020. "Are women less persistent? Evidence from submissions to a nationwide meeting of Economics," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2020_19, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    25. Alice H. Wu, 2020. "Gender Bias among Professionals: An Identity-Based Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(5), pages 867-880, December.

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    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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