Berland et al Working paper March 2023.pdf
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The persistence and the extent of barriers to women in economics make the discipline unique. To know how to reduce these imbalances, we need to understand their causes. In this paper, we review the recent literature and contribute data analysis to evidence the key barriers female economists face and policies that have proved efficient at reducing imbalances.Showing that gender differences have reduced in the last 10 years, we evidence heterogeneity in progress across several dimensions such as ranking and space, with most of the changes being observed at the top of the ’pyramid’. After framing imbalances, we highlight potential drivers of them. Initially this is by understanding differences in women’s behaviours and career choices. We gather evidence of the economics field not being gender neutral: showing differences in evaluation standards, lower recognition of women’s scientific contributions and abilities, and signs of a hostile environment. Building on the literature in labour economics, we show that in the job market for economists, female applicants face similar discrimination mechanisms as in other labour markets. We discuss how these findings could be used to design the job market for economists to mitigate gender differences. We then turn to the experimental literature to discuss different applications of policies aimed at promoting gender balance. By reviewing the recent literature on barriers faced by women in economics, this study aims at contributing to a better understanding of the policies to reduce imbalances while considering their distributional effects.