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Publishing while female: are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review

Hengel, Erin (2022) Publishing while female: are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review. The Economic Journal, 132 (648). pp. 2951-2991. ISSN 0013-0133

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Identification Number: 10.1093/ej/ueac032

Abstract

Female authors are under-represented in top economics journals. In this paper, I investigate whether higher writing standards contribute to the problem. I find that (i) female-authored papers are 1%–6% better written than equivalent papers by men; (ii) the gap widens during peer review; (iii) women improve their writing as they publish more papers (but men do not); (iv) female-authored papers take longer under review. Using a subjective expected utility framework, I argue that higher writing standards for women are consistent with these stylised facts. A counterfactual analysis suggests that senior female economists may, as a result, write at least 5% more clearly than they otherwise would. As a final exercise, I show tentative evidence that women adapt to biased treatment in ways that may disguise it as voluntary choice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 Oxford University Press.
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2023 16:06
Last Modified: 24 May 2024 17:30
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/118208

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