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Erin HENGEL - London School of Economics, Department of Social Policy

Erin Hengel (London School of Economics, Department of Social Policy) will present “Gender and the time cost of peer review”.

Abstract :
In this paper, we investigate one factor that can directly contribute to—as well as indirectly shed light on the other causes of—the gender gap in academic publications : time spent in peer review. Using administrative data from an economics field journal, we find that in each round of review, referees spend 4.4 more days reviewing female-authored papers and female authors spend 12.3 more days revising their manuscripts. However, both gender gaps decline—and eventually disappear—as the same referee reviews more papers. This pattern suggests novice referees initially statistically discriminate against female authors, but are less likely to do so as their information about and confidence in the peer review process improves. More generally, our results suggest that women may be particularly disadvantaged when evaluators are less familiar with the objectives and parameters of an assessment framework.