, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 367–393 | Cite as

Are men and women-economists evenly distributed across research fields? Some new empirical evidence

  • Juan J. DoladoEmail author
  • Florentino Felgueroso
  • Miguel Almunia
Open Access
Original Article


This paper analyzes the gender distribution of research fields in economics based on a new dataset of almost 1,900 researchers affiliated to top-50 economics departments in 2005, as ranked by website. We document that women are unevenly distributed across fields and test some behavioral implications from theories underlying such disparities. Our main findings are that the probability that a woman works on a given field is positively related to the share of women already working on that field (path-dependence), and that this phenomenon is better explained by women avoiding male-dominated fields than by men avoiding female dominated fields. This pattern, however, is weaker for younger female researchers who spread more evenly across fields.


Men and women-economists Research fields Gender segregation Path-dependence Multinomial logit models 

JEL Classification

A11 J16 J70 


  1. Allison P, Waterman R (2002) Fixed-effects negative binomial regression models. In: Stolzenberg R (ed) (eds) Sociological methodology. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  2. Bertrand M, Hallock K (2001) The gender gap in top corporate jobs. Ind Labor Relat Rev 55: 3–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Black S, Strahan P (2001) The division of spoils: rent-sharing and discrimination in a regulated industry. Am Econ Rev 91: 814–831CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blau F, Kahn L (2000) Gender differences in pay. J Econ Perspect 14: 75–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blau F, Simpson P, Anderson D (1998) Continuing progress? Trends in occupational segregation in the United States over the 1970s and 1980s. Fem Econ 4: 29–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Booth A, Burton J, Mumford K (2000) The position of women in UK academic economics. Econ J 110: 312–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borden V, Brown P, Majesky-Pullmann O (2007) Just the stats: top 100 disciplines by race and gender. (
  8. Boschini A, Sjögren A (2007) Is team formation neutral: evidence from co-authorship patterns. J Labor Econ 25: 325–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cameron AC, Trivedi PK (1998) Regression analysis of count data. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dolado J, Felgueroso F, Jimeno JF (2001) Female employment and occupational changes in the 1990s: how is the EU performing relative to the US?. Eur Econ Rev 45: 875–889CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dolado J, Felgueroso F, Jimeno JF (2004) Where do women work? Analyzing patterns in occupational segregation by gender. Ann Econ Stat 71(−72): 293–315Google Scholar
  12. England P, Allison P, Li S, Mark N, Thompson J, Budig M, Sun H (2003) Why are some academic fields tipping toward female? The sex composition of US fields of doctoral degree receipt, IPR WP-03-12Google Scholar
  13. Ginther DK, Kahn S (2004) Women in economics: moving up or falling off the academic career ladder. J Econ Perspect 18: 193–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gneezy U, Niederle M, Rustichini A (2003) Performance in competitive environments: gender differences. Q J Econ 118: 1049–1074CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gneezy U, Rustichini A (2004) Gender and competition at young age. Am Econ Rev 94: 377–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gneezy U, Leonard K, List J (2009) Gender differences in competition: evidence from a matrilineal and a patriarchal society. Econometrica 77: 1637–1674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goldin C, Rouse C (2000) Orchestrating impartiality: the impact of blind auditions on female musicians. Am Econ Rev 90: 715–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Greene W (2008) Econometrics Analysis, 6th edn. Prentice-Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  19. Hamermesh DS (2005) An old male economist’s advice to young female economists. CSWEP Newsletter, WinterGoogle Scholar
  20. Hansen WL (1991) The education and training of economics doctorates. J Econ Lit 29: 1054–1087Google Scholar
  21. Kahn S (1993) Gender differences in academic career paths of economics. Am Econ Rev (P&P) 83: 52–56Google Scholar
  22. Kahn S (1995) Women in the economics profession. J Econ Perspect 9: 193–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kalaitzidakis P, Mamuneas T, Stengos T (2003) Rankings of academic journals and institutions in economics. J Eur Econ Assoc 1: 1346–1366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Loury G (1977) A dynamic theory of racial income differences. In: Wallace PA, Lamond A (eds) (eds) Women, minorities and employment discrimination. Lexington Books, LexingtonGoogle Scholar
  25. McDowell JM, Singell LD, Ziliak JP (1999) Cracks in the glass ceiling: gender and promotion in the economics profession. Am Econ Rev (P&P) 89: 392–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Niederle M, Vesterlund L (2007) Do women shy away from competition? Do Men compete too much?. Q J Econ 122: 1067–1101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Polachek S (1981) Occupational self-selection: a human capital approach to sex differences in occupational structures. Rev Econ Stats 63:60–69Google Scholar
  28. Sax L (2001) Undergraduate science majors: gender differences in who goes to Graduate School. Rev High Educ 24: 153–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Schelling TC (1971) Dynamic models of segregation. J Math Sociol 1: 143–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan J. Dolado
    • 1
    Email author
  • Florentino Felgueroso
    • 2
  • Miguel Almunia
    • 3
  1. 1.Universidad Carlos III, CEPR & IZAMadridSpain
  2. 2.Universidad de Oviedo & FEDEAOviedoSpain
  3. 3.U.C. BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations