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The Fruits of Economics - A Treat for Women? On gender balance in the economics profession in Sweden.

By Christina Jonung and Ann-Charlotte Ståhlberg


Economics in Sweden is still a male-dominated profession, despite an increasing number of women entering the profession during recent decades. About one third of the students in the higher undergraduate programs in economics are women. Women’s proportion of the licentiate degrees obtained has increased from zero to 27 percent and their share of doctoral degrees from zero to 26 percent between 1970 and 2005. The proportion of women in the research and teaching staff at academic institutions in economics, 16 percent, is slightly below their proportion of the total number with a doctoral degree in economics in the country, 18 percent. Further, women’s careers in academia have not kept up with those of men. Only 13 percent of those with the academic grade of associate professor or higher are women. No more than six percent of the full professors in economics at Swedish universities, i.e. five, are women. Women in economics are underrepresented relative to women employed in the university as a whole. When comparing the career ladder for women in economics to that of other academic fields, we find economics to be more akin to mathematics than to the other social sciences. The situation for women in academic economics in Sweden is surprisingly similar to that in other countries for which we have comparable data. The paper also considers the interest and success of female economists in professional and public economic policy debate through their representation in The Swedish Association of Economics and their participation as authors in Ekonomisk Debatt, the journal of the association, inaugurated in 1973.-

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