Monday, January 11, 2016

The Impact of History and Chance on Discrimination

Somewhere in the last few days there was a report of a study on discrimination against women scholars.  As I remember it, in economics, if a paper has multiple authors, their names are listed alphabetically.  In physics (?), the convention is to list the primary author first.

I wonder why those different conventions arose in the first place: chance, some difference in the way papers are developed between the two disciplines, something else?  Anyhow, the bottom line is: in economics a woman who is part of a team of authors gets no credit for her work.   (Credit was determined by counting the publications according to sole-authorship versus team, then seeing the correlation between no. of pubs and the academic position achieved.)  Only sole author pubs helped a woman economist.  In physics there was no such impact.

No comments: