Research Paper IFS Briefing Notes BN307
Ethnic diversity in UK economics
Economists are central to policymaking in the UK, and to providing the research that underpins that policymaking. Despite having this important role in society, economists are not very representative of society, with a well-documented under-representation of women in the profession.
In this briefing note, we examine the ethnic diversity of academic economists who provide much of the research that ultimately feeds into policymaking. We use data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) to look at which groups are more or less well represented as academic economic researchers. We then examine economics students, to understand both the source of current under-representation and the prospects for change. Finally, we study some of the barriers faced by economics students. We are not able to examine diversity among the large number of economists who work outside academia, due to a lack of data.