Institution-Level Trends in the Economics Gender Gap

Faculty Member: 

Proposal Description:

Since 2000, the proportion of new economics PhDs that are female has remained roughly constant while the proportion has increased in other STEM degrees. Similar trends are observed for economics majors. The causes of these trends are poorly understood. This project aims to document institution-level trends in the gender composition of those studying economics over time, as compared to other STEM and social sciences fields, in order to find possible determinants of the aggregate economics gender gap. To do so, we will study the association between the gender composition of faculty in economics departments with the gender composition of undergraduate majors and matriculating PhD students. To do this, we will construct a novel data set on institutional and departmental characteristics in order to address the role of institutional rank, department size, seniority, and other potential confounders. Finally, we aim to collect information on the number of faculty job offers made to women over time by institutions in order to instrument the gender composition of economics departments to study the relationship between faculty composition and the choice to study economics.

Requisite Skills and Qualifications:

Students involved in this project will directly participate in the research process and thus will need a diverse skill set. Students will aid in the initial data collection and analysis. Students will have an opportunity to learn and practice the diverse range of skills needed for academic research. Students should know R, python, or Stata and feel comfortable using at least one of these programming languages to manipulate, clean, merge, and analyze data. 

  • Lijin Chen '18