CSWEP: Annual Survey

Since 1972 CSWEP has undertaken the collection of data on the gender composition of faculty and students in Ph.D. granting and non-Ph.D. granting U.S. economics departments. This longitudinal data is unique in the social sciences and beyond and is presented in the CSWEP Annual Report.

Researchers can view the documentation and annual aggregated data, and apply to access the underlying survey data https://www.icpsr.umich.edu/web/ICPSR/studies/37118/versions/V5.

The 2023 survey will be sent to all department chairs in late September, and the completed survey is due October 30th. An example of the survey questionnaire is available:

For queries about taking the survey, please consult our Frequently Asked Questions. Note that the FAQ is a work in progress. If you don’t see your question answered, please send an email to info@cswep.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Survey Questions

Q: Why does CSWEP conduct an Annual Survey?
A: The American Economic Association (AEA) created the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP) with a charter to monitor the position of women in the profession and undertake professional activities to improve that position. Since 1972 CSWEP has undertaken the analysis of data on the gender composition of faculty and students in U.S. economics departments. These data are unique in the social sciences and beyond and are presented in the CSWEP Annual Report. Many chairs find this report useful in advocating for their department.

Q: What happens with the results?
A: Analysis of results from the CSWEP Survey is presented in CSWEP’s Annual Report, published on the CSWEP website, and delivered to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association at their January meeting. The report is also published each year in Issue I (formerly called the Winter Issue) of the CSWEP News. All survey departments are mailed a hard copy of this issue. CSWEP sends all participating departments an analysis of their own departmental data relative to their peers.

Q: Is the CSWEP Annual Survey different from the American Economic Association’s (AEA) Universal Academic Questionnaire (UAQ)?
A: Yes. However, there may be overlap in some questions for some departments. CSWEP surveys a smaller number of departments than the AEA’s UAQ and does not ask for faculty salary data. In 2018, CSWEP had a 100% response rate from PhD departments and a 93% response rate from non-PhD departments. We are working with the AEA to minimize respondent burden while maintaining the scientific integrity of the CSWEP Survey, which is unique within the social sciences and beyond. For the 2023 survey year, we ask that you still complete both the UAQ and CSWEP Survey.

Q: Can I submit partial data?
A: Yes. While the integrity of our survey depends on receiving as complete data as possible, we would still prefer to receive partial data than no data at all. The “Faculty” section of the survey is the most important for our analysis. 

Q: Can I make edits to my survey after I submit?
A: Yes. To edit a survey you have already submitted – for example to add data to a survey initially submitted with partial data – send an email to info@cswep.org. You will then receive a unique URL you can use to make edits.

Faculty Questions

Q: Who are tenure track faculty?
A: Tenure-track faculty are those who hold voting rights in your department and carry titles such as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor. If your college or university does not offer tenure to anyone, but uses standard titles like Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor and your institution conducts significant promotion reviews for an individual to transition from one title to another, please include your Professor and Associate Professors in the "tenured" category.

Q: Who are non-tenure track faculty?
A: Non-tenure track faculty do not hold voting rights in your department. They are typically teaching faculty and may hold multi-year contracts. Non-tenure track faculty typically carry titles such as Professor of the Practice or Adjunct, Instructor, Lecturer or Visiting Professor. 

Q: Dr. Smith is on sabbatical from her full-time faculty appointment at University A. She is spending her sabbatical visiting our department and teaching a few courses. Do I include Dr. Smith in the faculty counts?
A: No. Faculty visiting from another institution should NOT be counted, even though they are teaching for you.

Q: I have a some faculty on sabbatical this year who are teaching at another institution.  Should I include them in my faculty counts?
A: Yes. Faculty on sabbatical who are expected to return to your department should be counted.

Q: Dr. Jane Doe teaches one course for our department each year, but does not have a multi-year contract.  Where should she be counted?
A: Include individuals who teach less than full-time for you and do NOT have voting rights in your department in the category “Instructional non-tenure track.” Count each person as one, no matter what their effort or fraction is this year.

Q: We have some Economists who are tenured in other departments on campus, but we pay part of their salaries because they teach for us. Since they are not formally in our department, they do not have voting rights with us.  How should they be counted?
A: This survey seeks to understand the gender composition of faculty working in myriad capacities in U.S. economics departments, both those with and without departmental voting rights. Faculty who hold a secondary appointment in economics and have voting rights in the economics department should be included in the counts of tenure-track professors, associate professors or assistant professors. Faculty who do not hold voting rights in your department, but teach in the economics department should be counted as instrictional, non-tenure track faculty. 

Q: I am uncertain where to count a particular faculty member. What should I do?
A: Please make a note of the count and the faculty’s relationship with your department in the comments box in the online survey or email: info@cswep.org.

Q: Our department has both finance and econ faculty. Who should be counted?
A: Include only econ faculty in your counts.

Q: Our department is a business school/finance department, not an econ department.  Do we need to complete a survey?
A: Yes. Please submit an Annual Survey for departments without PhD Programs. Question 1 on that survey is a business school screen. Let us know you are a business school and we will remove your department from the survey pool.

Q: Should accounting faculty be counted?
A: No.

Q: We have a new type of professor called Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment (LPSOE) or Lecturer with Security of Employment (LSOE). The latter has the equivalent of tenure. These lines are also sometimes called Professors of Teaching. They are members of the Academic Senate and they have voting rights, but their position is focused on teaching not research. We have three LPSOEs in our department. Should I include these people in the tenure track count?
A: If they have voting rights in the department (i.e., on hiring and tenure), then yes, include them with tenure track faculty. If not, include them with instructional, non-tenure track.    


If your department does not give out MA or MS degrees, either as terminal degrees or on the way to PhDs (e.g., you only  give MPhils on the way to PhDs), please answer both to question 3a, and put zeros in question 3b. 

For question 2B, please do include any students who completed their PhD and accepted a job as having been on the job market during the year, whether or not your department included them in its list of students on the academic job market.

Student Questions

Q: Which Ph.D. students should be included in the counts for: “Registered Ph.D. thesis writers (Passed General Exams, Still Active for Academic Year 20nn-nn)?
A: This should include only students who have completed all required Ph.D. coursework and required exams, typically in their third or fourth year or beyond.

Q: Should student counts be based on graduation term (final semester prior to conferral) or conferral date (term awarded)?
A: For the purposes of this survey, an academic year refers to Fall, Spring and Summer terms (i.e. Academic Year 2019-20 = Fall 2019, Spring 2020 and Summer 2020). For example, it is assumed that students completing their studies by Summer 2020 will graduate in Academic Year 2019-20. If you are still uncertain how to enter student data, or if your institution observes a different academic year, please make a note explaining your situation in the comments box on the online survey or by sending an email to: info@cswep.org

Q: How do I count “Job Placement Status” for a PhD graduate who I know obtained employment, but I don’t know where?
A: This year we have added an “unknown category” to “Job Placement Status.”

Q: Should business economics and related majors be included in our totals? 
A: Include as economics majors all majors under the supervision of the Economics Department (e.g., Business Economics, Economic History, Political Economy) as long most of their required credits in their major are courses offered by the Economics Department.