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Kristy Buzard Explores Gender Disparities in Economics

September 28, 2023

She is part of a three-member team that received a $157,065 grant from the Women in Economics and Mathematics Research Consortium.

Kristy Buzard

Kristy Buzard

Kristy Buzard, associate professor of economics, is part of a research team that recently received funding from the Women in Economics and Mathematics Research Consortium to investigate the mechanisms that contribute to gender disparities in economics professions.

The research team for the project, “What Attracts and Deters Women from Economics,” includes Laura Gee of Tufts University as principal investigator and Olga Stoddard of Brigham Young University and Buzard as co-principal investigators. Using the $157,065 grant, they will investigate the causes of women’s underrepresentation in economics and design interventions to increase the low rates of participation by women in the field. The project involves a field experiment across multiple sites and stages of professional development, including high school and entering college. 

Previous work by the team has shown that gender-biased stereotypes and beliefs, institutional and covert forms of sexism, and expectations about career paths or caregiver responsibilities differentially affect women and men in educational and professional settings.

The Women in Economics and Mathematics Research Consortium was created by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) in partnership with the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economic Profession (CSWEP) and with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Henry Luce Foundation. The CSWEP-SSRC funds research and interventions to promote the presence and success of women in the economics and mathematics disciplines. 

In March 2023, the same research team received a $64,300 grant from the Russell Sage Foundation for another field experiment on gender-based inequality. The experiment found that mothers are 1.4 times more likely to be contacted by school than fathers. The study has received media attention, such as on National Public Radio’s “Planet Planet Money Paper Club Paper Club,” which discusses recent papers in economics.

Buzard is a Melvin A. Eggers Economics Faculty Scholar and senior research associate for the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration. In addition to issues of gender inequality, her work explores international trade agreements and how international institutions, domestic politics and economic and legal arrangements impact cooperation on trade and related issues.

By Michael Kelly

Published in the Fall 2023 issue of the Maxwell Perspective

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