Feminist scholar Ann Mari May (Ph.D. ’88) has published a new book, Gender and the Dismal Science: Women in the Early Years of the Economics Profession (Columbia University Press, 2022), a groundbreaking account of factors that excluded women from the field and why gender bias persists today.
Gender and the Dismal Science focuses on the role of women during the formative years of the economics profession, from the late nineteenth century into the postwar period. Blending rich historical detail with extensive empirical data, May examines the structural and institutional factors that excluded women, from graduate education to academic publishing to university hiring practices.
Revealing the historical roots of the homogeneity of economics, this book sheds new light on why biases against women persist today. As Justin Wolfers put it, “Gender and the Dismal Science combines careful archival research, innovative empirical work, and a compelling narrative to tell the story of the barriers that women economists have faced since the birth of the field. With an accessible and compelling voice, Ann Mari May ensures this history of the hidden half can now be seen.”
May received her doctorate in economics from Colorado State University in 1988, with fields in economic history and monetary theory. She also holds a master’s in economics and bachelor’s in political science from CSU. She currently serves as Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the College of Business.
Gender and the Dismal Science is available now from Columbia University Press.