When it comes economics, men and women seem to think differently. And it’s even true to professional economists, according to a new study:
- Female economists tend to favor a bigger role for government while male economists have greater faith in business and the marketplace. Is the U.S. economy excessively regulated? Sixty-five percent of female economists said “no” — 24 percentage points higher than male economists.
- Health insurance. Female economists thought employers should be required to provide health insurance for full-time workers: 40% in favor to 37% against, with the rest offering no opinion. By contrast, men were strongly against the idea: 21% in favor and 52% against.
- Education. Females narrowly opposed taxpayer-funded vouchers that parents could use for tuition at a public or private school of their choice. Male economists love the idea: 61% to 14%.
- Labor standards. Females believe 48% to 33% that trade policy should be linked to labor standards in foreign counties. Males disagreed: 60% to 23%.
- Male economists overwhelmingly think the wage gap between men and women is largely the result of individuals’ skills, experience and voluntary choices. Female economists overwhelmingly disagree by a margin of 4-to-1.
And here is their biggest disagreement:
- 76% of women say faculty opportunities in economics favor men. Male economists point the opposite way: 80% say women are favored or the process is neutral.
It looks like male and female economists cannot get married? Well, there are some things they still agree on:
- Female economists agree with men that Europe has too much regulation and that Walmart is good for society. Male economists agree with their female colleagues that military spending is too high.
UPDATE: in case you wonder where to find the study, its title is “Are Disagreements Among Male and Female Economists Marginal at Best? A Survey of AEA Members and Their Views on Economics and Economic Policy,” by Ann Mari May, Mary G. McGarvey and Robert Whaples. It’s a forthcoming paper in the Contemporary Economic Policy journal.