Equity and Inclusion

The UC Santa Barbara Department of Economics recognizes the lack of diversity within our profession, and the role that discrimination plays in perpetuating these circumstances (see research section below). We are committed to working towards a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive department. We seek to create an environment characterized by tolerance and respect that enables students, faculty, and staff to achieve their full potential.

The Department of Economics maintains this mission in all its teaching and research activities. We understand that all our activities are enriched by the diverse set of characteristics, experiences, and backgrounds our students, faculty, and staff bring to our community. We value and welcome scholars and students from any political affiliation and from all social identities and invite everyone to engage with us on these important issues.

A core mission of the department is to increase opportunities for all undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of gender identity, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, disability, or sexual orientation.

This webpage makes some of the resources available to identify and address issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

UC Santa Barbara Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Codes of Conduct

Both the University of California and the American Economic Association have established detailed codes of professional conduct. We encourage all members of our community to study them carefully and abide by them. 


Undergraduate Taskforce for Equity and Inclusion

Student representatives

  • Ruoyi Cao
  • Shayne Chen
  • Julia Lee
  • Dakota McPherson
  • Aniket Mehrotra
  • Astha Nigma
  • Julia Rosales
  • Paul Ukpong

Staff representatives

  • Lauren Mart

Faculty members

  • Heather Royer 
  • Youssef Benzarti
  • John Hartman
Student Resources
Diversity Statement Guidelines for Job Applicants

Thank you for your interest in a career at the UCSB Economics Department! The University of California is committed to excellence and equity in every facet of its mission. Contributions in all areas of faculty achievement that promote equal opportunity and diversity are encouraged and given due recognition in the evaluation of each candidate’s qualifications.

A Diversity Statement is required as one component of a complete application, and will be reviewed by the search committee along with your other materials. This statement should describe your past, present, and planned contributions to equity, diversity, and/or inclusion. The examples below will guide you in writing an effective statement on contributions to diversity. Although this is not an exhaustive inventory, relevant contributions might include:

1. Teaching

Contributions to pedagogies addressing different learning styles, for example:

  • Designing courses or curricula that meet the needs of educationally disadvantaged students
  • Developing effective teaching strategies for the educational advancement of students from under-represented groups
  • Strategies to encourage both critical thinking and respectful dialogue in the classroom

Experience teaching students who are under-represented, for example:

  • Teaching at a minority-serving institution
  • Record of success advising women and minority graduate students
  • Experience teaching students with disabilities

2. Research

Research that contributes to our understanding of inequality in economic status and wellbeing as it affects all groups in the population, policies and programs that influence inequality, and the barriers faced by and experiences of disadvantaged groups, for example:

  • Research that sheds light on the experiences of oppressed or under-represented communities
  • Research that seeks to improve the lives of underserved communities
  • Creating inclusive and respectful research environments

3. Professional Activity

Engagement in activity designed to remove barriers and to increase participation by groups historically under-represented in higher education:

  • Participation in academic preparation, outreach, or tutoring
  • Participation in recruitment and retention activities
  • Service as an advisor to programs such as Women in Science and Engineering

4. University and Public Service

Participation in service that applies up-to-date knowledge to problems, issues, and concerns of groups historically underrepresented in higher education:

  • Participation with professional or scientific associations or meetings that aim to increase diversity or address the needs of underrepresented students, staff, or faculty
  • Outreach activities designed to remove barriers and to increase the participation of individuals from underrepresented groups
  • Honors, awards, and other forms of special recognition such as commendations from local or national groups or societies representing under-served communities
  • Supporting student organizations that serve underrepresented groups
  • Serving on university or college committees related to equity and inclusion, or preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence

5. Knowledge and Understanding

  • Knowledge of, experience with, and interest in dimensions of diversity that result from different identities, such as ethnic, socioeconomic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural differences
  • Familiarity with demographic data related to diversity in higher education
  • Comfort discussing diversity-related issues
  • Understanding of mentorship power dynamics and personal-professional boundaries between faculty and students
  • Understanding of the challenges faced by underrepresented individuals, and the need to identify and eliminate barriers to their full and equitable participation and advancement
Research on Diversity and Inclusion

Specific to Economics

Female representation in the discipline has been stalling: there was a steady rise in the past century to 35% in the mid 2000s but  has been stalling ever since (Lundberg and Stearns 2018). Possible explanations are:

  • Women have fewer mentorship opportunities (Blau et al, 2010)
  • Women have fewer networking opportunities because the profession is majority male (McDowell, Singell and Stater, 2006)
  • Women receive less credit when co-authoring with male authors (Sarsons, 2017a)
  • Women have a harder time publishing in leading economic journals (Card et al, 2018): referees hold female authors to a higher standard, even holding citation count constant.
  • Women are under-represented in top economics conferences (Chari and Goldsmith-Pinkham, 2017)
  • Supply factors: women don’t think economics is very interesting (Dynan and Rouse, 1997)
  • There is an absence of role models for women (Dynan and Rouse,1997)

According to Bayer and Rouse (2016):

  • 23.5% of tenured and tenure track Economics faculty are women (that’s less than in Silicon Valley)
  • Economics has lower tenure rates than in other social sciences: in Economics, the tenure gap is 20% and the full professor gap is 50%, whereas in other social sciences it is 12% and 25%, respectively
  • 6.3 percent of economists are underrepresented minority versus 30% in the US population

Academia in General (not Economics specific)

  • Female academics (not just economists) face barriers in promotion and hiring (Bayer and Rouse 2016; Steinpreis, Anders and Ritzke 1999; Madera, Hebl and Martin 2009; Schmader, Whitehead and Wysocki)
  • Milkman, Akinola and Chugh (2015) show that professors (in different disciplines) are less likely to respond to minority students
  • These figures were 75% versus 68% in Economics


Bayer, Amanda, and Cecilia Elena Rouse. 2016. “Diversity in the Economics Profession: A New Attack on an Old Problem." Journal of Economic Perspectives 30(4): 221-42.

Blau, Francine D., Janet M. Currie, Rachel TA Croson, and Donna K. Ginther. 2010. “Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors? Interim Results from a Randomized Trial." American Economic Review 100(2): 348-52.

Card, David, Stefano DellaVigna, Patricia Funk, and Nagore Iriberri. 2018. “Are Referees and Editors in Economics Gender Neutral?” https://eml.berkeley.edu/~sdellavi/wp/EditorGender_Oct24.pdf.

Chari, Anusha, and Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham. 2017. “Gender Representation in Economics across Topics and Time: Evidence from the NBER Summer Institute.” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. w23953.

Dynan, Karen E., and Cecilia Elena Rouse. 1997. “The Underrepresentation of Women in Economics: A Study of Undergraduate Economics Students.” Journal of Economic Education 28(4): 350–68.

Lundberg, Shelly, and Jenna Stearns. 2019. "Women in Economics: Stalled Progress." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 33 (1): 3-22.

Madera, Juan M., Michelle R. Hebl, and Randi C. Martin. 2009. “Gender and Letters of Recommendation for Academia: Agentic and Communal Differences.” Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(6): 1591-1599.

McDowell, John M., Larry D. Singell Jr, and Mark Stater. 2006. “Two to Tango? Gender Differences in the Decisions to Publish and Coauthor.” Economic inquiry 44(1): 153-168.

Milkman, Katherine L., Modupe Akinola, and Dolly Chugh. 2015. “What Happens Before? A Field Experiment Exploring How Pay and Repre- sentation Differentially Shape Bias on the Pathway into Organizations.” Journal of Applied Psychology 100(6): 1678–1712.

Sarsons, Heather. 2017a. “Gender Differences in Recognition for Group Work.”

Schmader, Toni, Jessica Whitehead, and Vicki H. Wysocki. 2007. “A Linguistic Comparison of Letters of Recommendation for Male and Female Chemistry and Biochemistry Job Applicants.” Sex Roles 57(7-8): 509-514.

Steinpreis, Rhea E., Katie A. Anders, and Dawn Ritzke. 1999. “The Impact of Gender on the Review of the Curricula Vitae of Job Applicants and Tenure Candidates: A National Empirical Study.” Sex Roles 41(7-8): 509-528.