Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=908899
 
 

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Gender Differences in Predispositions towards Economics


Cynthia Bansak


San Diego State University - Department of Economics

Martha Starr


American University - Department of Economics

May 2006


Abstract:     
Previous studies find that, upon entering the college class, women are less likely than men to be interested in economics and more likely to expect it to be difficult, which contributes to their under-representation in the field. This paper investigates causes of gender differences in predispositions towards economics, using survey data from a large state university. A key finding is that students widely view economics as a business-oriented field that prioritizes math skills and emphasizes making money - a combination that is a turn-off for women, but not so much for men. Our results suggest that playing up the value of economics for social-welfare analysis, while playing down its business applications, may be important for re-balancing predispositions at the outset of the principles class.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

JEL Classification: A22, D83, J16

working papers series


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Date posted: June 16, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Bansak, Cynthia and Starr, Martha, Gender Differences in Predispositions towards Economics (May 2006). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=908899 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.908899

Contact Information

Cynthia Bansak
San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
United States
619-594-4910 (Phone)
619-594-5062 (Fax)
Martha Starr (Contact Author)
American University - Department of Economics ( email )
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20016-8029
United States
202-885-3747 (Phone)
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References:  23

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