We study whether student-advisor gender and race couples matter for
publication productivity of Ph.D. students in South Africa. We consider
the sample of all Ph.D.s in STEM graduating between 2000 and 2014, after
the recent systematic introduction of doctoral programs in this country.
We investigate the joint effects of gender and race for the whole sample
and looking separately at the sub-samples of (1) whitewhite; (2)
black-black; and (3) black-white student-advisor couples. We find early
career productivity differences: while female students publish on
average 10% to 20% fewer articles than males, this is true mainly for
female students working with a male advisor, not for those working with
a female one. These disparities are similar, though more pronounced,
when looking at the joint effects of gender and race for the white-white
and black-black student-advisor pairs. We also explore whether
publication productivity differences change significantly for students
with a high, medium, or low “productivity-profile”, and find that they
are U-shaped. Female students with a high (or low)
“productivity-profile” studying with female advisors are as productive
than male students with a high (or low) “productivity-profile” studying
with male advisors.
JEL Classification: A14, I23, I24, J15, J16, J24, O32.
Keywords: Gender and race, Student Advisor, South Africa, Doctoral research productivity, Role models