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Promotional Achievement of Economists: Does Being Agricultural or Female Matter?

AAEA Past Presidents and member release new research in AEPP

Given the more applied nature of Agricultural and Applied Economics, General Economics faculty publish modestly fewer publications per year, on average, compared to Agricultural and Applied Economics faculty, that being 1.01 versus 1.08, respectively. The average number of annual publications for female faculty is 0.71 in General Economics and 0.92 in Agricultural and Applied Economics, with the corresponding numbers for male faculty being 1.07 and 1.12, respectively. Based on new  analysis using 2017 data, Agricultural and Applied Economists (AAEs) are estimated to require 71% more publications than General Economists (GEs) to achieve the same positive contribution of publications to the achievement of higher academic rank. The positive contribution of publications to higher academic rank status is larger for females than for males for both types of economists. The relative positive differential for female versus male AAEs (15% higher) is notably less than the relative positive differential for their female GE counterparts (66% higher).

In the new article “Promotional achievement of economists: Does being agricultural or female matter?” published in the Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, Zarrina Juraqulova from Denison University, Jill McCluskey and Ron Mittelhammer from Washington State University, examine to what extent individual and institutional factors are associated with academic rank achievement of faculty at both General Economics and Agricultural and Applied Economics Ph.D.-granting departments at U.S. institutions.

Juraqulova says, “The contribution of a publication is greater for female economists than for male economists of both types, and the positive impact of a publication for female GEs is substantially larger than for female AAEs. The other side of the coin is that since publications contribute relatively more for female faculty in explaining rank achievement, if a female faculty has fewer publications, the negative impact on her rank achievement is relatively larger.”

Juraqulova continues, “Other main findings include that increasing professional experience contributed positively to higher rank achievement for both types of economists and for both males and females. However, in relative terms, increasing experience is more supportive of rank advancement for female AAEs than for female GEs over the first 30-years of a faculty member's career. It is more supportive of females versus males when accounting for other explanatory factors evaluated at average levels.”

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ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

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