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Diversity and the Evaluation of Economic Research: The Case of Italy

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Especially in the wake of the Great Recession, calls for more diversity within economics are usually limited to appealing for greater diversity in the economists’ backgrounds, while diversity of opinion and approaches is often neglected.

Through a large-scale natural experiment encompassing two entire cohorts of Italian economists, we document how candidates for academic positions in economics, especially top-rank positions, are pushed to increasingly conform to a standardized research profile. We find evidence both of a gender glass ceiling and of substantial heterogeneity in the candidates’ chances to qualify for an academic position, depending on their gender characteristics.

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