Education policy research looking at gender imbalances in technical fields often relies on observational data or small N experimental studies. Taking a different approach, we present the results of one of the first and largest randomized controlled trials on the topic. Using the 2014 Political Methodology Annual Meeting as our context, half of a pool of 3,945 political science graduate students were randomly assigned to receive two personalized emails encouraging them to apply to the conference (n = 1,976), while the other half received nothing (n = 1,969). We find a robust, positive effect associated with this simple intervention and suggestive evidence that women respond more strongly than men. However, we find that women's conference acceptance rates are higher within the control group than in the treated group. This is not the case for men. The reason appears to be that female applicants in the treated group solicited supporting letters at lower rates. The contributions from this research are twofold. First, our findings are among the first large-scale randomized controlled interventions in higher education. Second, and less optimistically, our findings suggest that such "low dose" interventions may promote diversity in STEM fields, but that they have the potential to expose underlying disparities when used alone or in a non-targeted way.
The 2012 report recognized that expanding women's agency - their ability to make decisions and take advantage of opportunities is key to improving their lives as well as the world. This report represents a major advance in global knowledge on this critical front. The vast data and thousands of surveys distilled in this report cast important light on the nature of constraints women and girls continue to face globally. This report identifies promising opportunities and entry points for lasting transformation, such as interventions that reach across sectors and include life-skills training, sexual and reproductive health education, conditional cash transfers, and mentoring. It finds that addressing what the World Health Organization has identified as an epidemic of violence against women means sharply scaling up engagement with men and boys. The report also underlines the vital role information and communication technologies can play in amplifying women's voices, expanding their economic and learning opportunities, and broadening their views and aspirations. The World Bank Group's twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity demand no less than the full and equal participation of women and men, girls and boys, around the world.
In this article, we establish facts related to marriage and education in Latin American countries. Using census data from IPUMS International, we show how marriage and assortative mating patterns have changed from 1980 to 2000 and how the patterns in Latin America compare to the United States. We find that in Latin American countries, highly educated individuals are less likely to be married than the less educated, and the pattern is stronger for women. We also show that while it has been increasing over time, there is less positive assortative mating in Latin America than in the United States.
The education gap between men and women has closed, or has even reversed in many countries. Have countries also made progress in closing other gaps facing women? Using micro-level Census data for close to 40 countries, we examine several dimensions of gender disparity: we compare men and women's labor force participation (the labor force participation gap), married and single women's labor force participation (the marriage gap), and mothers' and non-mother's labor force participation (the motherhood gap). We show that there is significant heterogeneity among countries in terms of the size and the speed at which the gaps are changing.
We present the results of an experiment that explores whether women are less willing than men to guess on multiple-choice tests. Our test consists of practice questions from SAT II history tests; we vary whether a penalty is imposed for a wrong answer and the salience of the evaluative nature of the task. We find that when no penalty is assessed for a wrong answer, all test takers answer every question. But, when there is a penalty for wrong answers, women answer significantly fewer questions than men. We see no differences in knowledge of the material or confidence in the test takers, and differences in risk preferences explain less than half of the observed gap. Making the evaluative aspect of the test more salient does not impact the gender gap. We show that, conditional on their knowledge of the material, test takers who skip questions do significantly worse on our test.
Why are women still relatively scarce in the international studies profession? Although women have entered careers in international studies in increasing numbers, they represent increasingly smaller percentages as they move from PhD student to full professor. Our survey investigates why this is so, focusing on the assistant professor years, which are crucial to succeeding in the profession. We found that there are significant differences in publication rates, as well as differences in research focus (traditional subjects vs. newer subfields) and methodologies (quantitative vs. qualitative). Further, women and men have different perceptions of official and unwritten expectations for research, and policies regarding faculty with children may affect how successful women are in moving up the ladder. Taken together, these findings suggest reasons for the continued “leakiness” of the career pipeline for women and some potential solutions.
In this paper we establish six stylized facts related to marriage and work in Latin America and present a simple model to account for them. First, skilled women are less likely to be married than unskilled women. Second, skilled women are less likely to be married than skilled men. Third, married skilled men are more likely to work than unmarried skilled men, but married skilled women are less likely to work than unmarried skilled women. Fourth, Latin American women are much more likely to marry a less skilled husband compared to women in other regions of the world. Five, when a skilled Latin American woman marries down, she is more likely to work than if she marries a more or equally educated man. Six, when a woman marries down, she tends to marry the “better” men in that these are men that earn higher wages than those explained by the other observable characteristics. We present a simple game theoretic model that explains these facts with a single assumption: Latin American men, but not women, assign a greater value to having a stay-home wife.
About 70% of more than half a million Implicit Association Tests completed by citizens of 34 countries revealed expected implicit stereotypes associating science with males more than with females. We discovered that nation-level implicit stereotypes predicted nation-level sex differences in 8th-grade science and mathematics achievement. Self-reported stereotypes did not provide additional predictive validity of the achievement gap. We suggest that implicit stereotypes and sex differences in science participation and performance are mutually reinforcing, contributing to the persistent gender gap in science engagement.