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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Silly Sex?

One of the most significant phenomena about formal academic Economics is how few women have been seen as significant contributors to the mass of fantasy-theory that passes for 'analysis' according to the perverse peer review system that protects the supposed integrity of the whole farrago.
Forty years ago Joan Robinson had her Cambridge chair, and Ursula Hicks was almost as distinguished as her husband [who was the first Brit to get the 'Nobel Prize' in Economics]. Now there is no British woman of comparable prestige in the 'economics profession'.
During the credit crunch the dreaded Harriet Harperson suggested that it would not have happened if women had been in charge of the affected institutions. The absence of women from the top jobs was conspicuous indeed; so for the main part her remark was trivialised as potty feminism.
What should be pointed out for the future is that the absence of women from the acknowledged top rank of Economists may be attributable to womens' common sense. It is harder for most women to inwardly to accept authoritatively-delivered nonsense than for men, who compromise much more readily - intellectually - to get on in their careers.
One can assume that economic studies will become truly scientific when women occupy top chairs: as women have long done in natural sciences. It may take a very long time, as the Economics ratpack are so well established.

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