National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

To study interventions for increasing the number of undergraduate women majoring in economics

  • Amount $534,750
  • City Cambridge, MA
  • Investigator Claudia Goldin
  • Year 2014
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance

The ratio of men to women earning undergraduate degrees in economics is three to one.  This grant funds a project by Harvard economist Claudia Goldin to try to understand why.   Over the next four years, Goldin will pursue three interconnected activities.  The first is analysis of administrative data to better understand gender differences in selecting courses and majors.  The second is convening researchers to coordinate similar research efforts by other scholars and to design interventions aimed at testing hypotheses suggested by the data.  And the third is to run a kind of “randomized controlled trial” by matching baseline economics departments with those that receive financial incentives to use an intervention.  These experiments will provide evidence about whether and to what extent departmental interventions can effectively raise the number of women who major in economics, and may suggest ways to effectively address gender imbalances in other fields.

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