Donna Ginther and Shulamit Kahn have just published a paper that tracks thousands of American academics from the time they first get their PhDs through to their tenure and promotion decisions. They conclude:
Economics is the one field where gender differences in tenure receipt seem to remain even after background and productivity controls are factored in and even for single childless women.
Ginther and Kahn never use the word sexism. They only use the word discrimination to question its existence, saying their results suggest "women’s entry into tenure-track academia is dominated by choice rather than by any discrimination at hiring." They do find their results, "deeply troubling."
Noah Smith uses no such restraint. In his latest post, he takes Ginther and Kahn's cautious and nuanced results, and leaps to the conclusion that economics "seems to have a built-in bias that prevents women from advancing."