RMIT’s Dr Leonora Risse, formerly of Harvard’s Women and Public Policy Program, argues greater gender diversity in economics would improve the quality of economic analysis and policy advice. Arguably, it would shine more light on and promote solutions to gender inequality (e.g. the gender pay gap). Is Leonora right, or is this “self-serving identity politics” as some fellow economists have alleged about a focus on gender issues? In Episode 124, Economics Explored host Gene Tunny explores this question in a wide-ranging conversation with Leonora. The discussion considers differing average preferences among male and female economists on policy issues such as fiscal austerity and redistribution, touching on UBI.
About this episode’s guest – Dr Leonora Risse
Dr Leonora Risse is an economist who specialises in gender equality. She is a Research Fellow with the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, and recently spent time in residence at Harvard University as a Research Fellow with the Women and Public Policy Program.
Leonora is a co-founder of the Women in Economics Network (WEN) in Australia and currently serves as the WEN National Chair. Leonora earned her PhD in Economics from the University of Queensland, and previously served as a Senior Research Economist for the Australian Government Productivity Commission. She is currently appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Economics at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
Leonora’s research focuses on understanding gender differences in economic opportunities and outcomes, encompassing such issues as the gender pay gap, women’s under-representation in leadership, and the influence of societal norms. Her areas of expertise extend to labour economics, demographic economics, economic psychology, disadvantage and wellbeing.
She engages regularly with public audiences, government, industry and community groups on gender equality issues. This includes identifying evidence-based strategies to close gender gaps and applying a ‘gender lens’ to economic analysis and policy design.
Leonora was named among Apolitical’s 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy in 2021.
Leonora’s Twitter handle: @leonora_risse
Links relevant to the conversation
Lifting diversity and inclusion in economics: How the Australian Women in Economics Network put the evidence into action
Economics and Gender Equality: A Lens from Within
Reserve Bank of Australia: Women in Economics educational material
The Gender Pay Gap with Dr Leonora Risse
Thanks to the show’s audio engineer Josh Crotts for his assistance in producing the episode.
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