Seminar  |  04/28/2021 | 3:30 p.m.  –  4:45 p.m.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Seminar: Women in Science ‒ Lessons from the Baby Boom

Petra Moser (NYU Stern)


Seminars currently take place in online format (see seminar page).

How do children influence productivity, promotions, and participation in science? We investigate this question by analyzing biographies, patents, and publications for 82,094 American scientists in 1956, at the height of the baby boom. Output data indicate that mothers reach peak productivity in their mid 40s, nearly a decade after other scientists. Event studies of marriage show that mothers become more productive 15 years into marriage, when children are less work. Differences in the timing of productivity have important implications for tenure. Just 27% of academic mothers achieve tenure, compared with 48% of fathers and 46% of other women. Examining selection, we find that female scientists are more educated, half as likely to marry, one third as likely to have children, and half as likely to survive in science compared with men. While mothers who survive are positively selected, employment data indicate that a generation of baby boom mothers was lost to American science. (Joint work with Scott Kim)


Contact Person: Felix Pöge