Politics 1 October 2012 Woman economists "just think different". Really? Survey "finds gender gap". Print HTML There's a new study out that claims to find "significant differences" between the ways male and female economists think. At least, that's the way it's being reported: Here's the USA today headline: He said, she said: Economists' views differ by gender Marginal Revolution heads with: Women economists see the world differently Sciencedaily.com: National Survey of Economists Uncovers Vast Gender Gap in Policy Views So men and women just think differently... even when given the same training, and broad agreement in terms of core economic principles and methodology? Must be biology. Or is it? A closer look at the study, which questioned several hundred members of the American Economic Association, shows the biggest difference in thinking is on gender discrimination in their own field: 76 per cent of female economists say men are favoured when it comes to faculty opportunities in economics, and 80 per cent of male economists say women are favored or that there is no favouritism. Here are the other differences: Men are 20 per cent more likely to think the US and EU have too much government regulation. Women are 24 per cent more likely to believe the US government is too small. Women are 41 per cent more likely to favour a more progressive tax system. Men are 31 per cent less likely to agree with making US income distribution more equal. Women are less likely to support Arctic drilling. Men are more likely to support voucher use in education. There's a pattern here: women consistently vote in favour of policies which correct discrimination. As a discriminated-against group, this isn't surprising. Hardly sure evidence of different male/female "wiring". I'd hazzard a guess that this study was commissioned to help rather than hinder equality drives. But flagging its findings as evidence of tomato/tomahto thinking between the genders is not likely to do the job. › The Roma in France: "Is Hollande going to expel us all?" A woman and some lego. Photograph, Getty Images. Martha Gill writes the weekly Irrational Animals column. You can follow her on Twitter here: @Martha_Gill. Subscribe More Related articles Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy? No economy is an island: why Britain's finances now depend on Europe Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Philip Hammond as Chancellor mean for policy?