Even famous female economists get no respect..

Prof. Justin Wolfers has an article on the status of female economists. Just like females in other walks of life, in economics too they get a secondary status to males. This is even more irritating as even famous female economists are accorded the secondary status:

Men’s voices tend to dominate economic debate, although perhaps this is shaped by how we talk about the contributions of female economists. This is easiest to see in how we discuss the work of economist power couples.

Remembering the journalistic cliché that one is an example, two is a coincidence and three is a trend, I figured it worth exploring how female economists are treated.

First, consider an example from The New York Times. In a recent article, Adam Davidson wrote that “Lawrence Katz, a professor at Harvard and a leading scholar of education economics, co-wrote a paper a few years ago with Claudia Goldin…”

He quotes several more examples – Akerlof-Yellen, Deaton-Case and his own case of Wolfers-Stevenson:

Of course, I have an interest in this, as I’m also partnered with a fellow economist. And so I can add one more story to this list. Anne-Marie Slaughter published a widely read article in The Atlantic on “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” My better half, Betsey Stevenson, was pleased to see our joint research described in the article, but was chagrined to discover Ms. Slaughter had demoted her from first to second author on the paper. At the time Ms. Slaughter’s article was published, Betsey was serving as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, where she had developed a much larger footprint on work-family balance issues than I ever had.

It left Betsey to suggest — only half-jokingly — that the reason women can’t have it all is because even leading feminists don’t give them credit.

Can’t agree more on the last bit..


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