Gender Differences in Peer Recognition by Economists

Stefano DellaVigna, University of California, Berkeley
Wed, Feb 10 2021, 1:00pm - 2:30pm PST

Joint with David Card, Patricia Funk, and Nagore Iriberri

We study the evolving gender gap in peer recognition in Economics. We begin by analyzing the selection of Fellows of the Econometric Society, one of the oldest and most prestigious international societies in the field. Using publicly available information on Fellows elected each year from 1933 onward, merged with a new data set of over 40,000 “actively publishing” economists, we estimate the effect of gender on selection as a fellow over the past seven decades. Our base-line models include controls for cumulative publications in each of the top 5 journals, citations to these papers, and publications in a broad set of general interest and field journals. We then propose to use confidential data obtained from the Econometric Society on nominations and vote shares in the last 13 years (2006-2019) to decompose the gender gap in selection as a fellow into components attributable to differences in the probability of being nominated and in the probability of being successfully elected if nominated. We provide a broader perspective on our findings for the Econometric Society by conducting a parallel analysis of gender gaps in selection as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Economic Association, as well as being awarded a Sloan Foundation Fellowship. We conclude by analyzing several of the channels that may mediate the gender gap in peer recognition, including visibility, networking, and credit for coauthored work.