Field specializations among beginning Economists: Are there gender differences?

Eva Sierminska, Ronald l. Oaxaca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine the process underlying field specialization among beginning economists. Our multivariate logit framework accommodates single- and dual-field specializations with correlated choices. Including field-specific relative salaries and expected probabilities of academic employment is a novel aspect of this research. After conditioning on personal, economic, and institutional variables, we find that women graduate students are less likely to specialize in labor/health, macro/finance, industrial organization, public economics, and development/growth/international fields and are more likely to specialize in agricultural/resource/environmental fields. The Duncan dissimilarity index suggests that 14 percent of either sex would have to change specialization in order to achieve complete parity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-91
JournalAEA Papers and Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • economics profession
  • Gender Differences
  • women

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