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Attracting attentive academics: Paper, person or place?

Listed author(s):
  • Günther, Isabel
  • Grosse, Melanie
  • Klasen, Stephan

We analyze the drivers of presence (size of audience) and participation (number of questions asked) in parallel sessions at a large economics conference, using the annual meeting of the German Economics Association in 2012 as a case study. We find that the location of the presentation is at least as important for the number of academics attending a talk as the combined effect of the person presenting and the paper presented. Being a presenter in a late morning session on the second day of a conference, close to the place where coffee is served, significantly increases the size of the audience. Single-authored papers with long titles as well as those by junior researchers attract significantly fewer attendees. When it comes to asking questions, location becomes less important, but smaller rooms lead to more questions being asked (by women). Younger researchers as well as very senior researchers attract more questions and comments. There are also interesting and sizable gender effects. Women attend research sessions more diligently than men (at any point in time only half of the registered male economists compared to nearly two-thirds of female economists are attending a session), but seem to ask fewer questions than men. Men are less likely to attend presentations on health, education, welfare, and development economics than women. Our findings suggest that strategic scheduling of sessions could ensure better participation at conferences. Moreover, different behaviors of men and women at conferences might contribute to the lack of women in senior scientist positions.

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File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/111384/1/828531854.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Goettingen, Department of Economics in its series Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers with number 250.

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Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:250
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3, 37073 Göttingen

Web page: http://www.cege.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/

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  1. Marianne A. Ferber & Michael Brün, 2011. "The Gender Gap in Citations: Does It Persist?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 151-158, January.
  2. Borghans, Lex & Romans, Margo & Sauermann, Jan, 2010. "What makes a good conference? Analysing the preferences of labour economists," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 868-874, October.
  3. Andreas Haufler & Johannes Rincke, 2009. "Wer trägt bei der Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik vor? Eine empirische Analyse," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(2), pages 123-145, May.
  4. Maliniak, Daniel & Powers, Ryan & Walter, Barbara F., 2013. "The Gender Citation Gap in International Relations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(04), pages 889-922, October.
  5. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
  6. Rhoten, Diana & Pfirman, Stephanie, 2007. "Women in interdisciplinary science: Exploring preferences and consequences," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 56-75, February.
  7. Borghans, Lex & Romans, Margo & Sauermann, Jan, 2010. "What makes a good conference? Analysing the preferences of labour economists," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 868-874, October.
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