Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gender and Economics Education

GMU econ prof Bryan Caplan has an intriguing post at his blog about the role of gender in economic thinking.
The fact: "[G]ender shows up as a strong, consistent predictor of trade policy preferences. Women are much more protectionist than men."

The proposed explanation: "Women disagree with economists about free trade because fewer women study economics....We could make the gender gap of economics disappear by increasing female enrollment in economics to parity for a couple generations."
I don't know much about the gender issue, but the policy recommendation is consistent with my own view that we need to expand the study of economics.

In my utopia, everyone would study the principles of economics in high school, just as everyone now studies American history. Understanding basic economics is essential for being an intelligent voter. I would be out of a job teaching ec 10, but sometimes job loss is a part of progress.