When Teamwork Doesn’t Work for Women (Research by Heather Sarsons) - New York Times

New York Times article - Economic View - By JUSTIN WOLFERS JAN. 8, 2016

Economics remains a stubbornly male-dominated profession, a fact that members of the profession have struggled to understand.

After all, if the marketplace of ideas is meant to ensure that the best ideas thrive, then this imbalance should arise only if men have better ideas than women. That implication infuriates many female economists. Now new evidence suggests that the under-representation of women reflects a systemic bias in that marketplace: a failure to give women full credit for collaborative work done with men.

At least that is the conclusion of research by Heather Sarsons, a brilliant young economist currently completing her dissertation at Harvard. And it is a pattern that may explain why women struggle to get ahead in other professions involving teamwork.

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Study Says Women Don’t Get Credit When They Work With Men - The Cut

By Dayna Evans - 11 January 2016

We all remember the dreaded middle-school group project. There would be four or five people, all tasked with the same goal, but only one of them would actually do the work, and when the project was graded, everyone — no matter their level of commitment or competence — would wind up with the same grade. Well, it turns out that the miseries of underrecognized hard work on group projects persists long after middle school. Or at least it does for women.

Heather Sarsons, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard, explored this phenomenon with a study in which she looked at "CVs from economists who went up for tenure between 1975 and 2014 in one of the top 30 PhD-granting universities in the United States." She found a bias toward men in instances where men and women co-authored research papers, and found that co-authoring with men was a disability for women in their work, a phenomena she calls a "co-author penalty."

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