On Tuesday, The Economist published a list of the top 25 most influential economists in 2014 and it contained a glaring omission: Not a single woman made the list, including the chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen.
That’s because the magazine specific criteria specifically excluded her from the list by excluding all “serving central-bank governors.” Except the list includes five key members of the Federal Reserve:
- #2. William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
- #4. Charles Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
- #6. Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
- #7. James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
- #24. John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Ben Bernanke, Yellen’s predecessor, was ranked fifth. It’s not clear why serving central-bank governors were left off the list. It seems like an arbitrary distinction. To be fair to The Economist, it worked with a company called Appinions to analyze the influence of 500 economists, 450 from RePEc—a ranking of economists by publication count—and 50 chosen by The Economist. “Appinions tracked how much attention was paid to their utterances in the mainstream media, the blogosphere and in social media over a 90-day period up to December 11th 2014,” they write. Even so, The Economist titles the list as the most influential economists in the world.
As Noah Smith recently wrote at Bloomberg View, the economics profession definitely has a bias against women. But that doesn't mean there aren't any influential economists. It’s ridiculous not to have Yellen on the list.
Here’s their full ranking: