• Press Release
  • March 18, 2019

American Economic Association releases results of survey on professional climate in economics



NASHVILLE, TN (March 18, 2019) — Today the American Economic Association (AEA) released the results from a survey of current and former members about the professional climate in economics.

A full analysis of the survey results remains to be done, but the findings demonstrate that many members of the profession have suffered harassment and discrimination during their careers. This includes overt acts of abuse and more subtle forms of marginalization. The AEA announced the survey findings today in a letter to members signed by immediate past-president Olivier Blanchard, current president Ben Bernanke, and president-elect Janet Yellen.

“Excluding or marginalizing people based on their gender, race, or other personal characteristics is not only deeply unfair to those who are excluded, it damages the field as a whole by limiting the diversity of perspectives and dissuading talented people from becoming economists,” the letter states. “It is striking that, in an era when women and members of under-represented minority groups have entered so-called STEM fields at increasing rates, the low rates of participation and advancement of women and minorities in economics have changed little in recent decades.”

The survey is part of an ongoing effort to address concerns about the professional climate in economics. This includes the adoption of a code of professional conduct last year and the creation of a standing Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Professional Conduct, among other initiatives. The AEA Executive Committee has also agreed to take additional steps that include establishing a formal policy on harassment and discrimination, the establishment of an AEA ombudsperson, and approving a formal vetting process to ensure that candidates for election to the Executive Committee have not violated the Code or policy on harassment and discrimination.

The survey results and letter to members are available on the AEA website at aeaweb.org.