The Economics Profession's Socioeconomic Diversity Problem
AbstractIt is well-documented that women and racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the economics profession, relative to both the general population and other academic disciplines. Less is known about the socioeconomic diversity of the economics profession. In this paper, we use data on parental education from the Survey of Earned Doctorates to examine the socioeconomic background of US economics PhD recipients, as compared to other disciplines. We find that economics PhD recipients are substantially more likely to have highly educated parents, and less likely to have parents without a college degree, than PhD recipients in other non-economics disciplines. This is true for both US-born PhD recipients and non-US-born PhD recipients, but is particularly stark for the US-born. The gap in socioeconomic diversity between economics and other PhD disciplines has increased over the last five decades, and particularly over the last two decades.
CitationStansbury, Anna, and Robert Schultz. 2023. "The Economics Profession's Socioeconomic Diversity Problem." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 37 (4): 207-30. DOI: 10.1257/jep.37.4.207
- A11 Role of Economics; Role of Economists; Market for Economists
- Z13 Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification