A research program on gender parity in science: Family size and the publication gender gap

Prof. dr. Jacques Mairesse , UNU-MERIT

The gender gap in science has been largely studied. Despite women have been found to be less productive than men, little is known about the reasons behind gender differences. Unique longitudinal data collected by surveying a large sample of French physicists gave us the opportunity to investigate the role of family characteristics over time. We find that a gender gap exists and largely depends on the different impact of family characteristics on female and male scientists’ productivity. Using panel data econometrics, we find that both female and male scientists benefit in having large families, but females suffer a productivity lost when they have small children. According to our estimations, each additional child increases the female scientists’ publication productivity by 0.58 articles per year while male scientists experience a publication increase of only 0.29 articles. Having small children affects negatively only the female scientist’s productivity decreasing by 0.98 articles her publications.

About the speaker

Jacques Mairesse's  research is applied and belongs to econometrics in the proper sense that it tries to connect empirical and theoretical analysis with particular attention to data and to methods. It centers in the field of production economics broadly understood, ranging from questions of measurement of tangible and intangible capital to assessment of performance, and from problems of implementation of panel data econometrics to investigations of firm behaviors and productivity and technical change issues.

Mairesse has been engaged in many comparative studies, using firm micro data for France and the US or other countries, in particular to analyse various forms of investment in equipment, information and communication technology (ICT), organisational practices, R&D and innovation and their effects on productivity. His current topics of interest are in the economics of science and knowledge, with specific emphasis on performance evaluation at various levels of analysis (individual employee or scientist, firm or laboratory, industry) and on interactions between individual and collective performance and contextual and institutional factors.

Additional functions:

  • Emeritus Professor of Applied Econometrics of Research, Innovations and Productivity, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University
  • Honorary Professor, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique - l'Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Economique (CREST - ENSAE), France
  •  Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Mass., USA. 
  • Président of the Comité d'Orientation Scientifique de l'Observatoire des Sciences et techniques (OST) du Haut Conseil de l'Evaluation de la Recherche et de l'Enseignement Supérieur (Hcéres), France
  • Consultant à la Direction des Etudes Microéconomiques et Structurelles, Direction Générale des Etudes et des Relations Internationales de la Banque de France (DEMS - DGEI, BDF), France.
  • Member of the editorial board of Economics of Innovation and New Technology.



Venue: 0.16/0.17

Date: 21 February 2019

Time: 12:00 - 13:00  CEST