Market Power

Musings by an academic economist on the power of markets and the power over markets.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Innate Differences

Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard, started a huge uproar by stating that there might be innate differences between men and women that lead women to be "underrepresented" in math and science faculties. I wrote here about some of the problems associated with the uproar.

Was Lawrence Summers wrong? Here is a statement about an online discussion about this very topic from my daily email from The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Harvard's president, Lawrence H. Summers, recently ignited a firestorm of protests by saying that "intrinsic" differences between the sexes may explain why so few women rise in math and science. But a growing body of research suggests that genetic factors predispose women to avoid those fields. How should colleges respond? And do some academics owe Mr. Summers an apology?
Perhaps those researchers who have been producing the "growing body" need some sensitivity training (he says sarcastically).