Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where Are the Female Economics Bloggers?

"There are 39 women who rank in the top 1000 economists and 0 of them blog. Contrast that with the men. Consider the top 100 men. In this elite subset; at least 8 of them blog. Consider the men ranked between 101 and 200. At least, six of them blog. So, this isn't very scientific but we see a 7% participation rate for excellent male economists and a 0% participation rate for excellent women. This differential looks statistically significant to me."

Read more here

HT: Joy Pavelski

17 Comments:

At 3/27/2011 10:37 AM, Blogger cluemeister said...

I think we need a government program to fix this.

 
At 3/27/2011 11:07 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Megan McArdle blogs on economics and finance over at The Atlantic. You can read her blog - HERE

 
At 3/27/2011 11:40 AM, Blogger jennasue said...

we have better stuff to be doing with our time. thanks.

S.

 
At 3/27/2011 12:02 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Women seem to prefer talking on the phone, along making appointments and cancelling them, buying things and returning them, clipping coupons and shopping at stores, etc.

 
At 3/27/2011 5:27 PM, Blogger Dr. T said...

The writer said: "This differential looks statistically significant to me."

The writer doesn't know statistics.

The top 200 economists are comprised of 198 men and 2 women. Fourteen (7%) of the 198 male economists blog.

If we expect a similar proportion of female economists in the top 200 to blog, then the expected number of bloggers is 0.

With a 7% overall blogging rate, if you randomly selected 2 of the 200 economists, the odds that one or both will be a blogger is only 13.5%.

If one of the two female economists in the top 200 becomes a blogger (50% rate), would the male economists be considered laggards?

 
At 3/27/2011 5:51 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Dr. T,

This was not a random sample but an actual analysis of the entire population, so I think result of the analysis is significant. You are using assumptions and sampling that was not in the research design for the article.

 
At 3/27/2011 7:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3/27/2011 7:57 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt

If by "entire population" you mean authors registered with the RePEc Author Service whose works are registered on RePEc, then you are correct.

"You are using assumptions and sampling that was not in the research design for the article."

That design being...

Oh. That's right, we don't know, as it's not explained in the article.

Are YOU making an assumption here?

 
At 3/27/2011 8:11 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This article uses a list of authors registered with RePEc and whose works are registered with RePEc. The ranking seems to measure an author's volume of output, and the number of times they are cited.

There is no mention of the quality of their output, so I'm not sure what Kahn means when he refers to the top 100 or 200 and uses terms like "excellent economists" and "Royalty".

There are some important names not listed at all, and Paul Krugman is at #12, while Milton Friedman is at #239.

What does this all mean?

 
At 3/27/2011 8:37 PM, Blogger Curt said...

What does it mean that PK is 13 and Friedman is 289?

It meas that if you publish a great deal then you're going to rank higher than if your work is actually important survives the scrutiny of time.

There are not that many important economists. There are a large number of useful analysts, econometricians and researchers. But the number of important economists at any one time is quite small.

 
At 3/28/2011 3:16 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

I've read that females tend to have roughly the same native intelligence on average, but from a fairly young age they tend not to be as interested in pursuing these subjects like guys do. That makes perfect sense when applied to blogging, as it's just something these economists pursue on their own time, because they want to read or write more on the subject. I speculate that male hormones evolved to make them more aggressive, so they'd go hunt for food and show off for a mate, while female hormones make them more docile, receptive, and patient, so they care for the kids better. Who knows, the male hormone may also sharpen the mind, which matters more when hunting prey. It would have to be the hormones, since we're all asexual up to a certain age. Anyway, I've never studied the biological foundations in any detail, just my guess.

 
At 3/28/2011 6:04 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,

No assumption here. I just read what he said without adding anything to it.

The author picked the top 1000 economists and stated of those none of the 39 females blogged. You can question how he picked the top 1000, or the top 100 men, or the truth value of his statement that none of the females blogged, but it is still zero out of 1000 unless you have something that shows otherwise.

 
At 3/28/2011 12:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3/28/2011 2:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3/28/2011 5:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt G.

"You can question how he picked the top 1000, or the top 100 men..."

He used this list of authors who are registered with RePEc Authors Service, and have their work registered also. as nearly as I can tell, this ranks economists by their volume of writing, and how many times they are cited by others, without regard to how important or respected that work actually is.

In his article, Kahn refers to the top 100 or 1000 names on this list as "excellent economists" and "Royalty", as if volume of output equaled quality.

For example, Paul Krugman is #12 on this list, although in my opinion, he has given up any claim to serious economic competence, and is now merely a political hack.

...or the truth value of his statement that none of the females blogged, but it is still zero out of 1000 unless you have something that shows otherwise."

I don't doubt his numbers, although Kahn doesn't reveal his source for that information.

Kahn asks: "How do you resolve this puzzle?"

Dr. T points out that Kahn hasn't proven that a puzzle exists.

Using Kahn's own numbers, If the first 200 on the list are 198 men and 2 women, and the men blog at a 7% rate, then the women blogging at the same rate would mean there are 0.14 women bloggers. or 0 when rounded to whole bloggers.

This entire article appears to be about nothing. Kahn asks a question, and then chooses statistics to show that it's not a valid question.

If this article is an example of what is being measured by the RePEc ranking, then it reinforces my belief that it's the sheer volume of words, not the importance of those words.

 
At 3/29/2011 6:00 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H. said, "This entire article appears to be about nothing. Kahn asks a question, and then chooses statistics to show that it's not a valid question."

Now you have it with you mention of the term "validity." Dr T. was questioning the "significance" not the validity. Those are two completely different terms in statistics. 100% non-female economic bloggers is about as significant as you can get. Now what that really means, as you have both stated, is a different story. Of course the easiest way to refute the article is to find a bunch of female economists who blog and prove him wrong. Personally, I can’t think of any offhand.

 
At 3/29/2011 2:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt G.


"Now you have it with you mention of the term "validity." Dr T. was questioning the "significance" not the validity. Those are two completely different terms in statistics. 100% non-female economic bloggers is about as significant as you can get."

This may just be a problem with wording. Let me start over.

The Kahn article asks: "Where are the female bloggers"?

He then selects the top 200 names from a list of authors which includes 198 males and 2 females. He indicates that 7% of the male authors blog, although he doesn't explain how he came by that number. If female authors blogged at the same 7% rate, you would not expect to find one whole female blogger, therefore finding 0 female bloggers in his sample of 200 names is what he should expect. This is Dr. T's point.

It is not legitimate to extrapolate the results from this sample, to a larger list. To ask why there are no female bloggers in a list of 1000 names, 39 of which are females, he would have to calculate the male blogging rate from the list of 961, not just the first 198.

Keep in mind that his list contains only names of authors registered with RePEc authors service, and doesn't represent economists in general. There are many prominent names not on the list.

At best, based on his calculations, he could ask the question: "Why are there no female bloggers among the first 200 names on the list of RePEc regestered authors?"

The answer would be: "Yaaawn, who cares?"

Insteasd, he has suggested something that isn't shown by his work. Sloppy work for an economics writer.

 

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