Janet Yellen is hardly a shoo-in for the Fed chairmanship, despite the fact that she’s the most qualified candidate and has widespread support. Given that rationality in Congress has been trumped by ideology, it wouldn’t surprise me if Rand Paul and others attacked her in their quest to destroy the Fed and return us to private money backed by gold.
Hoping for the best, however, we may soon have the first woman Fed chair. Claudia Goldin addresses what this might mean for women economic majors. Her article asks:
“The nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve is an important milestone. But will her appointment as the central bank’s first female chief draw more undergraduate women to the field of economics?”
Goldin seeks to cast out red herrings, such as the old theory that women do not do economics because they are not as good at math as men. It turns out they are better, although they may not know they are better.
My own feeling is that more women would be drawn into economics if the discipline relaxed its over-dependence on rational calculation of maximum self-interest, and became more open to exploring the concepts of duties, rules, and virtues providing norms of caring in some economic settings.