I can’t decide whether this paper is politically incorrect

We study the relation between gender and job performance among brokerage firm equity analysts.  Women’s representation in analyst positions drops from 16% in 1995 to 13% in 2005.  We find women cover roughly 9 stocks on average compared to 10 for men.  Women’s earnings estimates tend to be less accurate.  After controlling for forecast characteristics, the difference in accuracy is roughly equivalent to four years of experience.  Despite reduced coverage and lower forecast accuracy, we find women are significantly more likely to be designated as All-Stars, which suggests they outperform at other aspects of the job such as client service.

Here is the link.  Here are non-gated versions.  The authors claim that more women don’t enter the sector because of their preferences, rather than discrimination; after all, They Win Prizes!.  Is the implication that women analysts are less productive, but men receive consumption value from voting them as "All-Stars"?  I don’t know how the voting works, but possibly the companies lobby for them, so as to show they have visible female stars.  I see the possibility of patronizing condescension in the data.  That’s not quite the same as outright discrimination, but I suspect the real story remains uncovered.  The odd mix of positive and negative discrimination that women, and some minorities, face, has not yet made its way into good models.


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