ARE DISAGREEMENTS AMONG MALE AND FEMALE ECONOMISTS MARGINAL AT BEST?: A SURVEY OF AEA MEMBERS AND THEIR VIEWS ON ECONOMICS AND ECONOMIC POLICY

Authors

  • ANN MARI MAY,

    1. May: Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588-0489. Phone 402-472-3369, E-mail amay1@unl.edu
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  • MARY G. MCGARVEY,

    1. McGarvey: Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588-0489. Phone 402-472-9415, E-mail mmcgarvey@unl.edu
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  • ROBERT WHAPLES

    1. Whaples: Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7505. Phone 336-758-4916, E-mail whaples@wfu.edu
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    • The authors would like to thank Professor Julia McQuillan, Director of the Bureau for Sociological Research, University of Nebraska-Lincoln for her helpful suggestions on the survey questionnaire, Michael L. May, Swarthmore College ’11 for his research assistance, and the Research Fund of the Department of Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for assistance in funding a portion of this research. We also thank three anonymous referees for their very helpful comments and suggestions.


Abstract

The authors survey economists in the United States holding membership in the American Economic Association (AEA) to determine if there are significant differences in views between male and female economists on important policy issues. Controlling for place of current employment (academic institution with graduate program, academic institution—undergraduate only, government, for-profit institution) and decade of PhD, the authors find many areas in which economists agree. However, important differences exist in the views of male and female economists on issues including the minimum wage, views on labor standards, health insurance, and especially on explanations for the gender wage gap and issues of equal opportunity in the labor market and the economics profession itself. These results lend support to the notion that gender diversity in policy-making circles may be an important aspect in broadening the menu of public policy choices. (JEL A11, J78, A14)

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