Justin Wolfers In NYT Shocked, Shocked to Learn Underemployed Econ Grad Students Not Always PC True Believers in Private


From the New York Times:

Evidence of a Toxic Environment for Women in Economics
Economic View

By JUSTIN WOLFERS AUG. 18, 2017

A pathbreaking new study of online conversations among economists describes and quantifies a workplace culture that appears to amount to outright hostility toward women in parts of the economics profession.

Alice H. Wu, who will start her doctoral studies at Harvard next year, completed the research in an award-winning senior thesis at the University of California, Berkeley. Her paper has been making the rounds among leading economists this summer, and prompting urgent conversations.

David Card, an eminent economist at Berkeley who was Ms. Wu’s thesis adviser, told me that she had produced “a very disturbing report.” …

Ms. Wu mined more than a million posts from an anonymous online message board frequented by many economists. The site, commonly known as econjobrumors.com (its full name is Economics Job Market Rumors), began as a place for economists to exchange gossip about who is hiring and being hired in the profession. Over time, it evolved into a virtual water cooler frequented by economics faculty members, graduate students and others.

Most academic disciplines have a Job Rumors bulletin board where the field’s dirty laundry is aired. These are frequently denounced by the great and the good of the discipline (i.e., those with no need to look for a job) as “cesspools.”

But they can make fun reading. For example, here is a debate over me on EconJobRumors.com.

Anyway, it turns out that, when afforded anonymity, some young economists agree with James Damore!

It now constitutes a useful, if imperfect, archive for studying what economists talk about when they talk among themselves. …

In her paper, Ms. Wu says the anonymity of these online posts “eliminates any social pressure participants may feel to edit their speech” and so perhaps allowed her “to capture what people believe but would not openly say.”

And that is what must be stamped out.

How can America’s CEOs like Suchar Pindai feel perfectly confident in speaking truth to power when there are high IQ 20 somethings who are known to dissent from The Narrative?

… In an email, David Romer, a leading macroeconomist at Berkeley, summarized the paper as depicting “a cesspool of misogyny.” …

Some economists say they find the discourse on econjobrumors.com to be a breath of fresh air. George Borjas, an economics professor at Harvard, wrote on his blog last summer that he found the forum “refreshing.”

Professor Borjas said: “There’s still hope for mankind when many of the posts written by a bunch of over-educated young social scientists illustrate a throwing off of the shackles of political correctness and reflect mundane concerns that more normal human beings share: prestige, sex, money, landing a job, sex, professional misconduct, gossip, sex. …”

Justin Wolfers is a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan. Follow him on Twitter at @justinwolfers.

In summary …

Masked vigilantes beating and intimidating pro-free speech demonstrators: OK.

Anonymous younger Ph.D.’s discussing reality in ways they wouldn’t dare to if stripped of their anonymity: NOT OK.

The unmasking of the heretics must accelerate!

[Comment at Unz.com]