nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2020‒09‒14
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Women in Economics: A UK Perspective By Gamage, Danula K.; Sevilla, Almudena; Smith, Sarah
  2. Ulysses' Pact or Ulysses' Raft: Using Pre-Analysis Plans in Experimental and Non-Experimental Research By Janzen, Sarah; Michler, Jeffrey D
  3. Biased Beliefs and Entry into Scientific Careers By Ganguli, Ina; Gaule, Patrick; Čugalj, Danijela Vuletić
  4. Promoting Female Interest in Economics: Limits to Nudges By Pugatch, Todd; Schroeder, Elizabeth

  1. By: Gamage, Danula K. (Queen Mary, University of London); Sevilla, Almudena (University College London); Smith, Sarah (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: The status of women in economics in the US has come increasingly under the spotlight. We exploit high quality administrative data to paint the first comprehensive picture of the status of women in UK academic economics departments in research-intensive universities. Our evidence indicates that, as in the US, women in economics are under-represented and are paid less than men. The issues facing women in economics in the UK are similar to other disciplines particularly STEM but have received less national policy attention to date. We conclude with a discussion of interventions that might improve the status of women in academia and we present new evidence that a UK academic diversity programme (Athena Swan) has narrowed the gender pay gap at a senior level.
    Keywords: gender, affirmative action, academia, women in economics, gender wage gap
    JEL: A14
    Date: 2020–07
  2. By: Janzen, Sarah; Michler, Jeffrey D (University of Arizona)
    Abstract: In recent years, pre-analysis plans have been adopted by economists in response to concerns raised about robustness and transparency in social science research. By pre-specifying an analysis plan, researchers bind themselves and thus avoid the temptation to data mine or $p$-hack. The application of pre-analysis plans has been most widely used for randomized evaluations, particularly in the field of development economics. The increased use of pre-analysis plans has raised competing concerns that detailed plans are overly restrictive and limit the type of inspiration that only comes from exploring the data. This paper considers these competing views of pre-analysis plans, examines the extent that pre-analysis plans have been used in research conducted by agricultural economists, and discusses the usefulness of pre-analysis plans for non-experimental economic research.
    Date: 2020–07–29
  3. By: Ganguli, Ina (Stockholm School of Economics); Gaule, Patrick (University of Bath); Čugalj, Danijela Vuletić (CERGE-EI)
    Abstract: We investigate whether excessively optimistic beliefs may play a role in the persistent demand for doctoral and post-doctoral training in science. We elicit the beliefs and career preferences of doctoral students through a novel survey and randomize the provision of structured information on the true state of the academic market and information through role models on non-academic careers. One year later, both treatments lead students to update their beliefs about the academic market and impact career preferences. However, we do not find an effect on actual career outcomes 2 years post-intervention.
    Keywords: career preferences, biased beliefs, information, higher education, science
    JEL: I23 D80 D84 J24
    Date: 2020–07
  4. By: Pugatch, Todd (Oregon State University); Schroeder, Elizabeth (Oregon State University)
    Abstract: Why is the proportion of women who study Economics so low? This study assesses whether students respond to messages about majoring in Economics, and whether this response varies by student gender. We conducted an experiment among more than 2,000 students enrolled in Economics Principles courses, with interventions proceeding in two phases. In the first phase, randomly assigned students received a message with basic information about the Economics major, or the basic message combined with an emphasis on the rewarding careers or financial returns associated with the major. A control group received no such messages. In the second phase, all students receiving a grade of B- or better received a message after the course ended encouraging them to major in Economics. For a randomly chosen subset of these students, the message also encouraged them to persist in Economics even if their grade was disappointing. The basic message increased the proportion of male students majoring in Economics by 2 percentage points, equivalent to the control mean. We find no significant effects for female students. Extrapolating to the full sample, the basic message would nearly double the male/female ratio among Economics majors. Our results suggest the limits of light-touch interventions to promote diversity in Economics.
    Keywords: college major choice, gender gap in economics, higher education, nudges, randomized control trial
    JEL: I21 I23
    Date: 2020–07

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