The Inequality of Finance

54 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2022 Last revised: 29 Apr 2022

See all articles by Renee B. Adams

Renee B. Adams

University of Oxford

Jing Xu

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

Date Written: March 2, 2022


Thought leadership in academic finance is more unequal than in other fields. Using data on the top 2% of scientists across all fields from Ioannidis et al. (2019, 2020), we show that the set of top scientists in finance is less diverse in terms of gender and geography than in economics and other STEM fields. However, top female scientists in finance have relatively more impact than they do in economics and other STEM fields. Women’s average beliefs about the level of brilliance necessary to be in a field have little explanatory power for women’s representation in finance, but men’s beliefs do. Our results suggest that field-specific culture is a higher barrier to women’s advancement in finance than it is in other fields.

Keywords: Finance, Science, Thought Leadership, Preferences, Gender, STEM, Economics, Citations, Culture

JEL Classification: J16, L22

Suggested Citation

Adams, Renée B. and Xu, Jing, The Inequality of Finance (March 2, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Renée B. Adams (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

Jing Xu

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) ( email )

15 Broadway, Ultimo
PO Box 123
Sydney, NSW 2007
+61295147764 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics