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Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors? Interim Results from a Randomized Trial

Francine Blau, Janet Currie, Rachel Croson and Donna Ginther

No 15707, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: While much has been written about the potential benefits of mentoring in academia, very little research documents its effectiveness. We present data from a randomized controlled trial of a mentoring program for female economists organized by the Committee for the Status of Women in the Economics Profession and sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the American Economics Association. To our knowledge, this is the first randomized trial of a mentoring program in academia. We evaluate the performance of three cohorts of participants and randomly-assigned controls from 2004, 2006, and 2008. This paper presents an interim assessment of the program’s effects. Our results suggest that mentoring works. After five years the 2004 treatment group averaged .4 more NSF or NIH grants and 3 additional publications, and were 25 percentage points more likely to have a top-tier publication. There are significant but smaller effects at three years post-treatment for the 2004 and 2006 cohorts combined. While it is too early to assess the ultimate effects of mentoring on the academic careers of program participants, the results suggest that this type of mentoring may be one way to help women advance in the Economics profession and, by extension, in other male-dominated academic fields.

JEL-codes: A11 C93 I2 J16 J24 J44 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-ltv and nep-sog
Note: ED LS
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (99)

Published as Francine D. Blau & Janet M. Currie & Rachel T. A. Croson & Donna K. Ginther, 2010. "Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors? Interim Results from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 348-52, May.

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