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On the Effect of the Gender Composition of the Editorial Boards for Top Economics Journals

Here’s the abstract of a discussion paper from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics by Felix Bransch and Michael Kvasnicka:

Using data on articles published in the top-five economic journals in the period 1991 to 2010, we explore whether the gender composition of editorial boards is related to the publishing success of female authors and to the quality of articles that get published. Our results show that female editors reduce, rather than increase, the share of articles that are (co-)authored by females. We also find evidence that female editors benefit article quality at low levels of representation on editorial boards, but harm article quality at higher levels. Several robustness checks corroborate these findings. Our results are broadly consistent with existing evidence on the behavior of gender-mixed hiring committees and of relevance for gender equality policy.

The rest of the article is also at the link.

Consider this post to be a follow up to this one.

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Not So Dumb as Economists, Part 1

I was going to point out that finance people are not so dumb as economists,* but Echidne’s takedown of Gary Becker is so divine it deserves your attention more:

This argument was initially made by Gary Becker, an economist, a very long time ago.** It is not an uncommon argument from conservatives (or from certain types of anti-feminist sites.) That does not mean that it shouldn’t be discussed. So let’s do that by looking at what is unrealistic about the specific conclusions….

In [Becker’s] first model only owner/managers have a dislike towards workers from a particular group. That, my friends, is the model from which the above conclusion comes, though even then it would only work to eradicate discrimination from the whole industry if the industry was essentially a competitive one. If the industry is not sufficiently competitive, the bigoted owner/managers can hang on and practice discrimination.

Becker argues that if the only problem we have consists of some bigoted owner/managers, while everyone else is just so sweet, sufficiently well-lubricated markets can get rid of those nasty bigots, always assuming that everybody knows everything relevant about everyone else.

There are no misconceptions in the model. Even the bigoted owner/managers of a pizza parlor, say, know that Joe and Jane are equally good pizza-bakers. They just hate Jane and are willing to hire her only if they can get her for less money.

This cannot last if we can find at least [one] non-bigoted nice owner/manager.

That’s the background of the old chestnut. Becker, having become immersed in the imaginary world of his simple model, concluded that competitive industries would never exhibit any long-run sex or race discrimination. Only oligopolies or monopolies could survive with at least some bigoted owner/managers. [emphases mine; hers varied]

It is a rare and delightful moment when someone looks seriously at an economic model. Strangely, when you examine the social premises of the mathematics—returning economics to its beleaguered claim to being a social science, as it were—it starts to be clearly why people believe economists are the problem, not the solution. It’s progress to see a blogger destroy an economist this thoroughly.***

*And I may still, using this post by Mish as the springboard, but I think the post leads to that as an inevitable conclusion, so for now I’ll just refer people there.

**1971, apparently, though, iirc, several of the papers are from 1965-1966.

***Yes, I know The Snake Woman is, in real life, a qualified economist. But she’s not being asked to play one on television, like Larry Kudlow, whose degree from WooWoo is patently not in economics, or Megan McArdle, who has an Ivy League degree in English Literature and an MBA.

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Systemic Discrimination is Legal as long as you are Large

Welcome to the New United States.

Trust that Jared Bernstein (if this one shows up, instead of this one) will have more on how much future damage can be done to the economy.

UPDATE: Scott Lemieux weighs in, correctly seeing it as worse than any reasonable examination of the facts would have permitted*:

Systematic discrimination at a large corporation such as Wal-Mart simply cannot be addressed piecemeal. I could have lived with a ruling that focused on the unique facts of this case. But in their broad ruling, the Court’s five most conservative justices have made it much more difficult for civil rights laws to be meaningfully enforced in practice. It will be part of the classic conservertarian bait-and-switch: individuals filing lawsuits will not have enough evidence to prove discrimination, and class action suits that develop systematic evidence will be thrown out for not having enough in common.

Between this and Andrew Samwick’s recent declaration that the rule of law should not apply in the United States, it’s a good week for the youngsters among our readers to check out this site.

*Although, as is becoming far too usual, on par with my cynicism being optimistic.

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The Supremes did us a favor with Citizens United regarding Rand Paul et al

By Daniel Becker

Ok, if you have not heard, Mr Rand Paul made quite the impression during an interview with Rachel Maddow. The short of it: businesses should be free to discriminate as they see fit. It’s their right, though he’s not for discrimination. You know, citizens and all having equal rights.

Well, there is a problem with Mr. Paul and his like’s argument. The Supremes ruled that businesses (at least corporations) are people. You recall that “Citizens” United case? Seems to me, being that Corps are now citizens, they fall under the same citizen law regarding Civil Rights. That is they can’t discriminate. Thus, the entire argument that businesses have rights outside of citizens as presented by Paul et al is now moot.  The entire section of the Civil Rights act that Mr. Paul supported his argument on is now redundant within that law.

Of course, they could decide that being a corp and having the right to discriminate is more important than the right to spend on elections. But, I don’t think the US Chamber is willing to swap the money maker right for the right to be prejudicial. At least not based on what I received to day:

U.S. Chamber: DISCLOSE Act Is Partisan Effort to

Silence Critics and Gain Political Advantage
Donohue: ‘It’s Unconstitutional. It’s Un-American. And It Must Be Stopped’

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today in response to the House Administration Committee’s markup of the so-called “DISCLOSE Act:”

“The DISCLOSE Act is an unconstitutional attempt to silence free speech and a desperate attempt by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen and the immediate past chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senator Chuck Schumer, to gain political advantage in the 2010 elections.

“Congress should not be wasting its time on an ‘Incumbent Protection Act,’ but instead should be focused on job creation. Nothing makes Americans angrier than members of Congress who are more concerned about protecting their own jobs, rather than creating new ones for unemployed constituents.

Hey Chamber and Rand Paul, you know what else is unconstitutional and unAmerican? Discrimination.  Infact that was the entire argument of Citizens United.

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McMegan, Discrimination, and Inappropriate Loans

Susan of Texas has an immortal post on the housing crisis, McMegan’s ratiocination, and the persistence of ignorant memes. The money quote:

McArdle doesn’t refute facts, she hen-pecks at the methods used to gather information. That way she doesn’t actually have to prove anything, she just casts enough aspersions on the data to confuse the issue. When source after source after source after source brings up a problem, dismissing it out of hand begins to look like bigotry and callous indifference instead of honest disagreement. [links from original]

Go Read the Whole Thing.*

(Cross-posted and expanded from Marginal Utility)

*Yes, rdan, this is another blog we’ve been keeping from you.

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