Gender and promotion in the economics profession

John M. McDowell, Larry D. Singell, James P. Ziliak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The authors use unique panel data on American Economic Association members to test for gender differences in promotion in a profession with a well-defined promotion and job hierarchy and in which men and women exhibit similar labor-market attachment. The results suggest that over the period from the 1960s through the early 1980s, female economists had lower levels of professional attainment and career advancement than did their male colleagues with similar attributes. These gender differences remain in evidence despite controls for unobserved heterogeneity and self-selection between academic and non-academic jobs. There is evidence, however, that promotion prospects for female economists significantly improved during the 1980s, not only at all ranks, but also within both Ph.D.-granting institutions and non-Ph.D.-granting institutions. In fact, the results reveal no unexplained gender-specific differences in promotion by the end of the 1980s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-244
Number of pages21
JournalIndustrial and Labor Relations Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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