nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2023‒08‒21
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Gendered Competitive Practices in Economics. A Multi-Layer Model of Womens Underrepresentation By Stephan Puehringer; Theresa Hager
  2. Mental Health in European Economics Departments By Macchi, Elisa; Sievert, Clara; Bolotnyy, Valentin; Barreira, Paul
  3. On the existence of a French school of the science of commerce (1751-1759). By Jean Daniel Boyer

  1. By: Stephan Puehringer (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Theresa Hager (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria)
    Abstract: Economics holds a unique position in terms of the severity and persistence of gender imbalances and the underrepresentation of female researchers within the social sciences. There exist various reasons for this fact, as well as a variety of channels through which these imbalances are perpetuated. To this end, there has not been a comprehensive review of the existing and well-researched levels of this underrepre-sentation. By systematically reviewing the literature on the facts and reasons for the low proportion of women in the profession and structuring them in our multi-level model, we not only make the multitude of channels visible but can also analyze their interplay. Moreover, we argue that efforts to address women's underrepresentation are impeded because economics as a discipline is particularly susceptible to competitive evaluation and selection practices. Men and women perceive, perform in, and make sense of competitive processes in their own ways, so that men, through their socialization as competitive selves, are more likely to succeed in an academic system heavily based on competition and rankings; women, in this case, are endowed with an inappropriate set of competitive strategies and interpretations that, nevertheless, ultimately inform their academic practices. Enriching our multi-level model with this perspective on gendered competitive practices in academia, allows us to offer a novel contribution to the debate on the causes of the persistent gender imbalance in the field. Drawing from feminist stand-point theory, we argue that such an endeavor is not only important, and interesting in its own right, but also highly relevant to the reproduction of gender imbalances and gender discrimination in society at large; if a diversity of views and opinions is not represented within its halls, economics runs the risk to inform policy lopsided. More precisely, we argue that our result has some nontrivial implications given the rise of competitive formats in academia and thus is particularly alarming for science policies aiming at gender balances in academia.
    Date: 2023–08
  2. By: Macchi, Elisa (Brown University); Sievert, Clara (Harvard University); Bolotnyy, Valentin (Stanford University); Barreira, Paul (Harvard University)
    Abstract: We study the mental health of graduate students and faculty at 14 Economics departments in Europe. Using clinically validated surveys sent out in the fall of 2021, we find that 34.7% of graduate students experience moderate to severe symptoms of depression or anxiety and 17.3% report suicidal or self-harm ideation in a two-week period. Only 19.2% of students with significant symptoms are in treatment. 15.8% of faculty members experience moderate to severe depression or anxiety symptoms, with prevalence higher among non-tenure track (42.9%) and tenure track (31.4%) faculty than tenured (9.6%) faculty. We estimate that the COVID-19 pandemic accounts for about 74% of the higher prevalence of depression symptoms and 30% of the higher prevalence of anxiety symptoms in our European sample relative to a 2017 U.S. sample of economics graduate students. We also document issues in the work environment, including a high incidence of sexual harassment, and make recommendations for improvement.
    Keywords: student mental health, faculty mental health, wellbeing
    JEL: A23 I12 I18 I23
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: Jean Daniel Boyer
    Abstract: Often considered merely as a circle, the Gournay network was in fact a true school of economic thought that sought to develop and promote the science of commerce with the aim of reforming the French monarchy and transforming it into a commercial, colonial and maritime power, capable of overcoming the power of England. All its members followed the principles laid down by Gournay; all proposed the same scheme. Gournay’s school would thus be the concrete expression of the French mercantile system; i.e. the form that French mercantilism took in the 1750s. Its main objective was to generate trade surpluses, which would contribute to lower interest rates and so catalyse economic growth, increasing the prosperity and power of the French state.
    Keywords: Balance of men, balance of power, balance of trade, Gournay, mercantile system, science of commerce, school of thought.
    JEL: A11 A13 B11 E43 F02 F54 O24
    Date: 2023

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