Although in most STEM fields women are becoming more equally represented, economics is a notable outlier.  There remain persistent sex gaps in promotion, which cannot be explained by productivity differences.  Women continue to “fall off the ladder” at each rung up, they receive lower salary adjustments, and they are less satisfied than their male colleagues.

Several papers address this issue, including for example:

  • Ginther and Kahn (2014) find that gender differences in tenure awards have disappeared in most social sciences, BUT NOT IN economics.  In economics, they find a gender difference of 20% in the promotion to tenure and 50% in promotion to full, after controlling for productivity and family choice.  Moreover, the difference is larger for women who are single and childless.
  • Ceci et al, (2014) offer a long time-series of multiple STEM fields   
  • Ginther and Kahn (2004) and Kahn (1993) focus on economics.
  • Kahn (2012) focuses on promotion in multiple fields at a single university.
  • This Bloomberg article highlights the issues.
  • The 2014 CSWEP annual report summarizes evidence from surveys over time, with a focus on the “leaky pipeline”.  See, in particular, pages 11 – 21.
  • Chen, Kim and Liu (2017) track the Ph.D. class of 2008, and they find that women receiving PhDs in economics in 2008 were 10 percentage points less than their male peers to receive tenure as of 2016.