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.


  1. The figure of 90% or even 95% match with my informal observation of the comments in the economic sections of the main journals here in Spain.

  2. Here is a link to a book called "Who cooked Adam Smith's Dinner". it says that Economists historically have largely ignored the work that women do ,so can you balke them for not recogniseing the use of Economics? Is it a case of while the men argue about what is best for an "abstract" economy the women generally sigh and get back to their unpaid toil...I'm going to hide in a cupboard now.

    1. I have a key for the cupboard (ha ha). Men probably have downplayed the contribution made by women. That seems to have happened in sciences - Roslaind Franklin springs to mind. But strikes me that women's time is no more consumed by daily chores than is men's. I.e. it doesn't take long to read a few blog articles and type out a response. To me that rather suggests women are not actually interested in economics, though they may have a huge interest in other subjects.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Sorry about my bad tryping....that should read
      Child raising alone takes a huge amount of time and effort. And it is productive since they are raising the next generation of workers. Then there is caring for the sick (including husband with man flu)and the elderly all done for free.

  3. Sorry link below


Post a comment.