How Women Are Still Misrepresented In Economics

How Women Are Still Misrepresented In Economics

Gender bias is impacting the credit female economists receive.

In today’s society, it is safe to say that there have been serious strides made in terms of gender equality. While we are by no means equal, it is comforting to know that the seriousness of the gender gap has been acknowledged as a real issue. The gender wage gap has been the focus of many professionals in Hollywood and just recently 10 major companies, including Twitter and Barclays, went public with their gender parity issues, vowing to make changes. And while these strides are admirable, there are still many issues that women in the professional world are facing that aren’t attracting so much attention. One specific field that faces gender discrimination is in the seemingly male-driven field of economics.

Over the past few months, Justin Wolfers, an Australian and American economist, has published two articles in the New York Times regarding the way credit is given in his field. In “When Teamwork Doesn’t Work for Women,” Wolfers cites a study done by Heather Sarsons, an economist who is currently finishing up her dissertation at Harvard. Sarsons has found that women are suffering from a serious gender bias in terms of receiving the credit they deserve in situations where group work has been done. In the field of economics, being published is a highly crucial component to being offered tenure, the saying “publish or perish” absolutely applies here. Long story short, while women seem to be offered tenure equally when they publish alone, their chances greatly diminish when they work with others, especially men. When this happens, credit is often attributed to the men, because author’s names are listed alphabetically rather than in order of who did the majority of the work, revealing that there is in fact a gender bias in economics.

Wolfers also wrote an article in November regarding the lack of credit female economists receive called “Even Famous Female Economists Get No Respect.” He tackled the issue by focusing on a few different economic “power couples,” including a ridiculous story regarding Janet Yellen, chairwoman of the Federal Reserve and her husband, George Akerlof, a Noble Prize-winning economist. Apparently, Ralph Nader decided to write an open letter to Yellen regarding monetary policy, suggesting she sit down with her husband, and together decide what to do about it, even though he doesn’t even study that field of economics. Wolfers article continued with many other examples of men who received more credit than their wives on projects they had coauthored, often when their wives were the primary authors.

As a woman who will be entering the workforce within the next few years, I see a genuine issue with the gender bias that many professional fields continue to suffer with. While women should be speaking up, I can see how in a male-dominated field, that isn’t always easy. Besides that, this isn’t a matter of speaking up because it’s an issue of false assumptions. It’s great that women who choose to write solo are receiving just as much credit as men who make that choice. But a woman shouldn’t have to be the sole author of a project just because she’s nervous that if she were to work with a man, she wouldn’t receive her due credit. That’s ridiculous. Yet Ms. Sarsons findings are so important, because they prove that this is a real problem women are facing.

Though they still face criticism, I’m glad to see that people are able to speak up and fight gender inequalities in certain fields, such as Hollywood and politics, because it shows that America has changed. But I don’t think we will be able to say we’ve truly seen change until the women outside of the spotlight feel they have seen equality. Economics is a field that studies all subjects, including ones that are typically deemed feminine. There is no reason for people, including fellow economists, to assume that men are generally the first authors. I look forward to seeing how, and if, the field changes within the next few years as a new generation continues to infiltrate the workforce.

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Illinois Republicans Just Gave A Neo-Nazi A Major Platform

As if having a raging racist for President isn't enough.
views defines a neo-Nazi as a person who belongs to a political organization whose beliefs are inspired or reminiscent of Nazism. We learned about Nazis in school; they were the notorious villains of the story who came to life in a terrible, disgusting way. We learned their absolute hatred for any other race besides their own, insomuch that they murdered those they hated.

It is always a bit of a surprise to me that people who believe in this kind of hatred still exist today, simply because it seems impossible to hate someone that much. Yet society is still plagued with them, and in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, they’ve been given a microphone to express their views.

The villains that many minorities fear and continue to fear are alive and well, spreading their narrative around like wildfire, destroying everything they come in touch with.

And Illinois just made one of them extremely comfortable in one of the most powerful state positions.

70-year-old Arthur Jones became the Republican nominee for Congress in Illinois on Wednesday, upsetting many who had vehemently campaigned against his placement. Tim Schneider, the Illinois Republican Party chairman seemed to have fought the hardest, saying Jones isn’t a “real Republican” but rather a “Nazi whose disgusting, bigoted views have no place in our nation’s discourse”.

While Jones disregarded the accusations of being a Nazi, he has been an active participant in the white nationalist movement for years. He ran for mayor of Milwaukee with the National Socialist White People’s Party and runs a campaign website that features a page that disregards the Holocaust completely.

While many continue to make excuses for Trump and his entirely questionable feelings toward minorities, Jones is a Nazi through and through.

Allowing a Nazi into a position of power like Congress invites many dangerous ideals and actions into society, similar to the rise in White nationalism following Trump’s win.

After Trump’s win in the Presidential Election, hate groups have increased by four percent and white supremacist terrorism has seemed to have erupted. The largest white supremacist demonstration, Charlottesville, brought terror to minorities as it seemed the villians were trying to “take back their country”. Trump has not only refused to denounce ties with white supremacists such as former Klan leader David Duke, but has also had the audacity to surround himself with advisors that have direct ties to radicalism.

Whether you choose to see it or not, almost every shooter that has destroyed communities of schools and concert goers was a white nationalist seeking to somehow purify America. The second you hear about a shooting or a homeland terrorism attack, the first thought that pops into your head is a white nationalist.

Giving yet another Nazi a massive platform to continue to spread this kind of hatred will make things worse. We step back into a history that offers no mercy for minorities, a history that seeks to purify the natural diversity of human nature.

While nearly everyone agrees Nazis are bad news, not everyone agrees to truly recognize it. We’ve become a society that shames those who simply want validation and equal treatment. We disregard it as over-the-top and too much to ask for.

The only way to fight this hatred is recognizing what is going on and taking action about it. Don’t elect neo-Nazis, for one, and don’t perpetuate the narrative that they are harmless. Choose to love, choose to be good, fight the better fight. It’s really not that hard if you put your mind to it.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Sun Times

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You Shouldn't Take Part In March For Our Lives, And Here's Why

You’ll be surprised why.

There are zero reasons. We are marching for gun reform to ensure that everyone in this country is kept safe and that another tragedy like the Parkland shooting never happens again. 17 lives were lost which is 17 too many.

Please take part in history and march on March 24th. Be part of the change. In the meantime sign the petition, call your local legislators, and whatever you do, don’t stop talking about it.

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