300,000 women are missing from economics & maths isn’t the problem

Economics is an overwhelmingly male field; and the problem is not going away. Less than a third of economics students today are women. A pervasive myth about the missing women students in economics – about 300,000 of them in the US alone by our rough count – is that the problem is their poor maths skills. You know: economics is too maths focused, and women are maths-phobic, right? That must be the problem.


In the US, today, the share of women graduating in mathematics and statistics is higher than in economics. It is not mathematics that’s the problem.

A more likely and more uncomfortable culprit – sexism in economics – has been called out in an audacious undergraduate dissertation written by Alice Wu of the University of California, Berkeley.


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