Erin Hengel

Selected working papers

Gender and the time cost of peer review

with D. Alexander, O. Gorelkina and R. Tol

In this paper, we investigate one factor that can directly contribute to—as well as indirectly shed light on the other causes of—the gender gap in academic publishing: time and length of peer review. Using detailed administrative data from an economics field journal, we find that referees spend longer reviewing female-authored papers, are slower to recommend accepting them, manuscripts by women go through more rounds of review and their authors spend longer revising them. Less disaggregated data from 32 economics and finance journals corroborate these results. We conclude by showing that all gender gaps decline—and eventually disappear—as the same referee reviews more papers. This pattern suggests novice referees initially statistically discriminate against female authors, but are less likely to do so as their information about and confidence in the peer review process improves. More generally, they also suggest that women may be particularly disadvantaged when evaluators are less familiar with the objectives and parameters of an assessment framework.

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Gender and equality at top economics journals

with E. Moon

Using (asinh) citations as a proxy for quality, we show that female-authored papers published in top economics journals are, on average, higher quality than male-authored papers. Furthermore, men and women publish higher quality papers when they co-author with women instead of men—for example, the same senior male economist receives almost 80 log points more citations when he co-authors with a junior woman as opposed to a junior man. Finally, variance in quality is consistently higher among published male-authored papers. Under strong—but we believe reasonable—assumptions, we argue that these findings imply top economics journals hold female-authored papers to higher standards and, consequently, do not publish the highest quality research. Our results also suggest that popular proxies of academic impact discount women's contributions and that existing co-authoring relationships in economics under-exploit the capacity of female researchers.

Download the paper or read summaries in and the Royal Economic Society July 2020 Newsletter.

One strike and you’re out!

with O. Gorelkina and I. Grypari

We investigate the impact a straight-ticket voting option—a.k.a. the Master Lever—has on U.S. senators' roll-call voting records in Congress. Using a difference-in-differences framework, we find the Master Lever leads to a 3–6 percent rightward shift in senators' policy positions. The effect is largely driven by the Republican party. To interpret our results, we analyse the Master Lever's impact on electoral incentives and outcomes. Our findings suggest that ballot design has a non-negligible impact on policy-making. They also imply that electoral outcomes in moderate to right-leaning Master Lever states may be especially vulnerable to right-wing, non-partisan voters.

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Measuring research quality in a more inclusive way

with A. Sevilla and S. Smith. Research Evaluation, 2024. (Forthcoming.)

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A UK-based report on the status of women in academic economics

with M. Costa-Dias, M. Jones and H. Neves. Report to the Royal Economic Society Women's Committee, 2024.

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The gender gap in UK academic economics 1996–2018

with V. Bateman. Œconomia, 2023. 13(2): 163–200.

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The theory of straight ticket voting

with O. Gorelkina and I. Grypari. Social Choice and Welfare, 2023. 60(3): 365–381.

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Publishing while female

The Economic Journal, 2022. 132(648): 2951–2991.

Winner of The Economic Journal's 2022 Austin Robinson Memorial Prize.
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An historical portrait of female economists' co-authorship networks

with S. L. Phythian-Adams. History of Political Economy, 2022. 54(S1): 17–41.

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The gender imbalance in UK economics

with V. Bateman, D. K. Gamage and X. Liu. Royal Economic Society Silver Anniversary Women's Committee Report, 2021.

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Diversity in economics seminars: who gives invited talks?

with J. Doleac and E. Pancotti. AEA Papers & Proceedings, 2021. 111: 55–59.

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Gender issues in fundamental physics

with P. Ball, B. Britton, P. Moriarty, R. Oliver, G. Rippon, A. Saini and J. Wade. Quantitative Science Studies, 2021. 2(1): 263–272.

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