The Gender Gap in Economics

While preparing my applications for graduate studies in Economics, I noticed that most of the programmes are male-dominated. They tend to have a 70-30 (male-female) distribution or less. Considering that the majority of those enrolling at university nowadays are female (Royal Economic Society, 2014), this is a rather striking result. What is more, following the reasoning of Akerlof and Kranton in their 2011 book Identity Economics, such a gender dominance may take a long time to reverse if the minority group is deterred from entering the profession. A recent article also highlights why society would benefit from an increase in females choosing a career economics:

Economics has a serious gender problem – it needs more women

In the article, Victoria Bateman – a lecturer and fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge – aptly notices:

While economists like to think of their discipline as being gender neutral, the reality is that economists have looked at the world around them through male eyes – and rather privileged male eyes at that.

While Economics investigates gender gaps in a variety of settings, our profession has yet to raise awareness of its own gender gap, taking more measures to encourage females to choose a career in Economics.



Akerlof, G.A., and Kranton, R.E. (2011). Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Bateman, V. (2016). Economics has a serious gender problem – it needs more women. Available at:

Royal Economic Society (2014). The gender gap in economics enrolment: where does it arise. Available at:


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