Sunday, 11 November 2018
Are women interested in economics?
I noticed on social media recently someone claiming to have done a quick count of the number of males versus females leaving comments after economics blog articles. So I thought I’d repeat that.
I trawled through the comments after one article from several different blogs. And what do you know? Out of a hundred “commentators” who had obviously male or female names, ninety six were male. Quite extraordinary.
Incidentally that ties up approximately with male to female ratio found in the letters column of the Financial Times. At least someone had a letter in the FT a year or so ago saying they’d done a count of male and female names and found that about ninety percent were male.
Obviously caveats are in order here. For example, to get better statistical significance, a number nearer a thousand rather than a hundred would be better. Plus it would be better if those doing the counting had no idea what the purpose of the count was. Plus it would be better to have several individuals, each counting up to perhaps a hundred, rather than one individual doing all thousand.
Still the above “ninety six” is not statistically totally insignificant.
Another point: just in case anyone thinks I’m unaware of the existence of a number of outstanding female economists, I am perfectly well aware of those individuals. For example I follow Frances Coppola’s blog.
This calls for a more thorough investigation.