Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why do mostly men blog about economics?

Partly because males are still more numerous than females in Economics.

Partly because males tend to blog more anyway.

But neither of the explain the vast disproportions of males who blog on all the main economics blogs compared to females.

We put up a paper before that discussed this but doesnt really develop a theory of why it is the case.

http://www.cs.biu.ac.il/~koppel/papers/springsymp-blogs-07.10.05-final.pdf

it is a relatively serious issue if you believe that men and women think differently about economics and if you believe that blogs matter for economics. It is worth thinking about whether there are other types of forums that are more gender neutral.

I will remove any pointless sexist remarks in either direction.

8 comments:

Michael Daly said...

I've heard there are no gender differences in the numer of bloggers in general. Men are just more influential. Why? As a guess men are typified by an adversarial, provocative, self-promoting style riddled with assertion, sarcasm and invective criticism. Women are more supportive, they open questions, appreciate commentry and take a more communal approach to discussion. Men probably blog for work and women as a creative outlet. There are the usual suspects of evolutionary status based arguments when it comes to gender differences like this. Men are more motivated by social-attention holding potential which signals movement up a dominance hierarchy and so on(David Buss does this stuff).

Liam Delaney said...

that picture of yours certainly looks like you might be riddled with assertion, sarcasm and invective criticism. you should get a nice friendly one like mine.

Michael Daly said...

That's enough provocation and self-promotion!

Michael Daly said...

Riddled with friendliness now!! I think the debate on gender differences in provoking change can be put to bed..

Kevin Denny said...

Since pointed sexist remarks are apparently allowed, I would conjecture that women have better things to do with their time.

Liam Delaney said...

I dont think time valuation is a good explanation. Its possible but you would expect that to yield a smoother gender difference between different types of time use. Might be something like a tipping point explanation where an initially skewed gender balance leads to increased segregation over time. This would be something like where women would blog on economics blogs if the proportion of women doing blogging on them were at least, say, thirty percent but not otherwise. Thus, if you dont reach the quota initially you get zero and its hard to dislodge this. This is explanation is used in papers to explain why certain labour markets may become all men and all women over time.

Kevin Denny said...

This tipping point argument makes no sense since there are no obvious sex related externalities unlike the labour market where clearly if all the other nurses are women...

Michael Daly said...

Pennebaker is on this study of gender and age differences in over 70,000 bloggers. The gender breakdown in their sample is not far off 50-50 (34k female bloggers to 37k males). They conclude "Male bloggers of all ages write more about politics, technology and money than do their female cohorts.
Female bloggers discuss their personal lives – and use more personal writing style – much more than males do." "All of this confirms and extends findings
reported earlier in and lends support to the hypothesis that female writing tends to emphasize what Biber calls “involvedness”, while male writing tends to
emphasize “information”. Interestingly, the sterotypical differences between male and female bloggers are so large the study authors can detect gender from content and style algorithms with over 80% accuracy.