In Economics, Women’s Contributions to Published Works Are Valued Less

sarsonsA new study by Heather Sarsons, a graduate of the University of British Columbia and a Ph.D. student in economics at Harvard University, finds that women economists are twice less likely than male economists to be granted tenure after they have been hired to the faculties of leading universities.

Sarsons found that women who collaborate with men on published works do not receive the same credit in the “publish or perish” world of academia. When there is a large number of authors of a given academic work, “it requires some judgment on the part of the employer as to which worker made the greatest contribution,” Sarsons says. And in such situations, women’s contributions tend to be undervalued, particularly in a male-dominated discipline. And this impacts the decision-making process during tenure review proceedings, according to Sarsons’ research. The data showed that this undervaluing of women’s contributions is particularly true when there is only one woman among the authors of an academic paper.

But Sarsons found that when women work alone or only with other women on academic works, their publishing accomplishments are held in higher regard. “Women who solo author everything have roughly the same chance of receiving tenure as a man,” Sarsons reports.

The paper, “Gender Differences in Recognition for Group Work,” may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: FacultyGender GapResearch/Study


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