Does Gender Affect Scientific Productivity?: A Critical Review of the Empirical Evidence and a Panel Data Econometric Analysis for French Physicists.

J. Mairesse*, M. Pezzoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The paper revisits the issue of the gender gap in scientific productivity, often referred as the "productivity puzzle" by economists and sociologists of science. After providing a critical review of the empirical evidence, the paper presents the relevant results of a panel data econometric analysis of individual publication productivity differences for two large samples of French CNRS and university physicists. We observe in both cases that the productivity of women in terms of number of publications is, by about one third in average, largely lower than that of men. We conclude, however, that female physicists appear as productive as their male colleagues in CNRS, and even more productive in French universities, when we take into account several factors, in particular unequal chances of promotion and frequent non-publishing spells, which can reflect strong family engagements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-113
JournalRevue Economique
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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