Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Economist Mom

Why don't 'excellent women' write economics blogs?

Female economists, especially those who blog, may offer some insight to the alleged shortage of excellent female economists who blog

By Guest blogger / March 31, 2011

A person types on a laptop. Guest blogger Diane Lim Rogers responds to another blogger's post about the lack female economist bloggers.

Photo illustraton/FogStock LLC/Newscom

Enlarge

A friend of mine sent me a link to Matthew Kahn's latest guest blog post on the Christian Science Monitor website; she sent it along with an “I believe in you” sort of note, because as Matthew was implicitly pointing out, I am not on the list of top economists to which he refers–while he is (as he explicitly points out). He ponders (emphasis added):

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

REPEC provides an objective measure of who is “Royalty” in the economics profession. The current list of the top 5% is here. I am ranked #681 out of 27,365 economists so that’s not bad (and my 3 books aren’t counted here). But, here is the interesting part. There are 52 women who rank in the top 1000 and 0 of them blog. Contrast that with the men. Consider the top 100 men. In this elite subset; at least 8 of them blog. Consider the men ranked between 101 and 200. At least, six of them blog. So, this isn’t very scientific but we see a 7% participation rate for excellent male economists and a 0% participation rate for excellent women. This differential looks statistically significant to me. I have searched for Nancy Folbre among the top 1369 economists (the 5% cutoff) and she is not counted in the elite subset.

Not being a female economist himself, Matthew then theorizes–as men love to do–about why we women aren’t as able to be both “excellent” economists and blogging economists.

I find it ironic that Matthew’s blog post would appear on the Christian Science Monitor site in the same area that my guest blog posts do, and that the photo that goes with the CSM post is of…an Asian woman! (Ok, a much younger Asian woman, but Asian nonetheless.) Huh! There’s a female economist blogger blogging right “next” to Matthew, right under his nose!

Oh, but I’m not an “excellent” female economist.

I think we female economists have our own empirical (not just theoretical) reasons why those of us who blog aren’t the same people as those of us who are at the top of the REPEC list. In my case, it’s also closely related to why those of us (even non-excellent female economists) who blog don’t typically blog at the same frequency as the (even most excellent) male economists who blog. It’s called we have and care about other things and people in our lives, not just our own individual, introspective views about how the supposed world around us supposedly works (in our own opinion)! And that’s even things and people other than what Matthew counts so endearingly as the “home production” sort of things–you know, “cooking and rearing children.”