Markets, Productivity, and Happiness in a Historical Perspective

The gender gap in UK academia

Bateman Victoria, University of Cambridge
Hengel Erin, University College London

Pooling data collected by the Royal Economic Society and the Higher Education Statistical Agency, we document the representation of women in UK academic economics between 1996–2018. Although progress has been made, we find that women are still under-represented, especially among undergraduate students and academic staff. We also find that women are more likely to be employed at lower academic ranks, in research-and teaching-only positions—instead of more traditional posts that combine both—and on a fixed term basis. Finally, we find that women are especially under-represented among UK nationals at both the student and staff levels. We conclude by comparing the situation in the UK to other countries and discussing possible mechanisms and means of increasing the number of women in UK academic economics. This paper is part of a special session on “Quantitative Histories of Economics”.


Keywords: gender, diversity, inequality, academia

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