Gender Gaps in Academia: Global Evidence, 1900-1969

Category: Quantitative Economic Policy Seminar
When: 20 May 2021
, 14:00
 - 15:15
Where: Online (please contact for zoom link)

Abstract: We study gender gaps in academia over an unprecedented time-span (7 decades) and geographic coverage (more than 100 countries). For this purpose, we hand-collect a new database of around 500k person-year observations in all academic disciplines and across thousands of universities. We document negative gender gaps along four dimensions: hiring, publications, citations, and promotions. First, the world-wide share of women in academia rose from about one percent to about 11 percent in 1969, with large variation across countries and disciplines. Anglo-Saxon countries, and the United States in particular, have been at the vanguard of hiring women, while countries with German university systems have lagged behind. Second, we estimate a negative gender gap in publications of about 0.17 sd., which has not narrowed over time. The publication gap is “swoosh”-shaped in the share of female academics: positive in countries and periods with very low female shares and negative but narrowing in countries and periods with higher female shares. Third, we estimate a negative gender gap in citations that persists if we control for the topics of papers with a novel machine-learning approach. Fourth, we show negative gender gaps in the probability of promotion, particularly for the promotion to full professor. The gender gaps in promotions are robust to controlling for publications and citations.