The gender readings gap in political science graduate training

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What influences gender representation in assigned readings during graduate training? Whereas recent studies have identified gender gaps in citations and publications, less is known about the readings used to train future political scientists. Introducing a unique data set of 88,673 citations from 905 PhD syllabi and reading lists, we find that only 19% of assigned readings have female first authors. Scholarship by female scholars is underrepresented in all subfields, relative to several benchmarks. Both supply-and demand-side factors affect gender representation. First, representation of female-authored readings varies by the size of the pool of female scholars, over time and across subfields. Second, instructor gender and department composition affect demand for female-authored scholarship. As departments hire more female faculty, instructors of both genders become more likely to assign female-authored work. This article contributes an original data set to the study of graduate training and advances understanding of gender diversity in political science.




Hardt, H., Smith, A. E., Kim, H. J., & Meister, P. (2019). The gender readings gap in political science graduate training. Journal of Politics, 81(4), 1528–1532.

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