Statement by the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession on Professional Climate and EJMR

with Recommendations to the American Economic Association


CSWEP was established to monitor and support the advancement of women in the economics profession and to ensure that issues of particular relevance to women are considered in the work of the American Economic Association. We value and are committed to building an economics profession that is open to all, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion, or disability and believe that a diverse profession encourages the highest quality scholarship.  Achieving this goal requires that we foster academic discourse in an intellectual environment that is respectful and collegial for all.

The CSWEP Board joins with many of our colleagues in condemning the sexist, racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic statements that have appeared on the Economics Job Market Rumors (EJMR) site, and particularly the harassment and abuse targeted at particular scholars. We also condemn the culture in economics in which this discriminatory treatment, and reluctance to speak out against it, is rooted. The progress of women and minorities in economics has been stalled for years, lagging behind many other STEM disciplines. Harassment and exclusionary discourse are barriers to diversity in economics and, therefore, to the advancement of our scholarship.  Tacit acceptance of such behavior contributes to a general perception that the economics profession is unwelcoming, or even actively hostile, to female and minority economists.  A failure by our leaders to act now, when these issues are being widely discussed, can only serve to encourage the perpetuation of discriminatory attitudes and treatment.

In support of our values and our mission, the CSWEP Board calls on our colleagues to practice, encourage, and model for others the type of professional behavior that contributes to an open and inclusive economics. We also recommend that the AEA take the following steps:

  1. Make a forceful statement that affirms the Association’s commitment to free expression and exchange of ideas in an atmosphere that is respectful, inclusive, and collegial, and that explicitly recognizes that racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other discriminatory statements and behavior undermine the progress of the economics profession.
  2. Prohibit discriminatory or harassing behavior in all AEA operations as destructive to free discussion, and condemn such actions in other professional contexts, including online forums.
  3. Establish an alternative, consistently-moderated, on-line resource that will be a forum for professional development and increase transparency in the job market process.