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UCB Lack of Female Representation in Economics Discussion Questions


In this Writing assignment, you will analyze an article about the lack of female representation in economics. Please explain your answers thoroughly.

? Step 1: 

Read the Chicago Booth Review article, “Why are there so few women economists?”. 

What are two of reasons provided for the lack of female representation within economics? 

Do you agree with their arguments? Why or why not?

?Step 2:  

Consider the reasons you provided in Step 1. 

? Do you think each of these is driven by differences in women’s and men’s preferences, or constraints? 

? Overall, do you think preferences or constraints make up a larger portion of the gender gap in economics? 

Explain your answers.

?Step 3: 

Suppose that male and female undergraduates are on average equally good at economics; that is, each group has the same average GPA (3.0) upon graduating if they choose it as major. However, suppose one group receives a noisier signal from their Econ 1 final grade. Call this group “Group A” and the other group is “ Group B”.

? If students only choose an economics major if their major GPA is predicted to be above a 2.5, will more students from Group A or Group B choose an economics major? 

? Given what you read in this article, is Group A more likely to describe female or male undergraduates? 

Justify your answers. 

?Step 4: 

Propose a policy solution to increase the fraction undergraduates who earn a BA in economics, and defend it as a good solution. Be creative and do not just explain one of the ideas in the article.


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