Different Economic Opinions by Sex

Ann Mari May and Mary MGarvey of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and David Kucera of the International Labour Organization surveyed economists from 18 European countries in search of economist’s opinions on certain matters. What they found was not only fascinating but also not incredibly surprising.

The set up the poll by asking five different questions with ratings ranging from one to five. One stood for strongly disagreeing and five standing for strong agreeing. They then divided up the answers by sex. The results of the poll are shown in the image below:


As we can see, four out of the five questions, female and male economists had different opinions. For example, male economists are way more likely to disagree that labor market opportunities are unequal. The results to this question are fascinating and suggest one reason why economists around the world dismiss gender differences in the field of economics. If male economists are more likely to think that they face equal opportunity compared to the female counterparts, there is a good chance they believe pay gaps are largely explained by differences in skills and choice. We see in wage data that choices like getting pregnant are correlated to a decrease in pay gaps so in maybe a sense that can hold true, although it may not be fair. However, skills could be debated. With such different views of between the sexes, women are clearly at odds with getting jobs in the field of economics. It seems like it could potentially be one of the greatest contributing factors to why we can count on our hands the number of women who play significant roles in the field.

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