Review of Corporate Finance > Vol 3 > Issue 1–2

The Inequality of Finance

Renée Adams, University of Oxford, UK, , Jing Xu, University of Technology Sydney, Australia,
Suggested Citation
Renée Adams and Jing Xu (2023), "The Inequality of Finance", Review of Corporate Finance: Vol. 3: No. 1–2, pp 35-68.

Publication Date: 31 May 2023
© 2023 R. Adams and J. Xu
Financial markets,  Information systems and industries,  Organizational behavior,  International business,  Gender and ethnicity,  Market value and firm growth,  Small business and economic growth,  Labor economics
JEL Codes: J16, L22


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In this article:
Data and Summary Statistics 
Empirical Results 


Thought leadership in academic finance is more unequal than in other fields. Using data on the top 2% of scientists across all fields from Ioannidis et al. (2019) and Ioannidis et al. (2020), we show that the set of top scientists in finance is less diverse in terms of gender and geography than in economics and other STEM fields. However, top female scientists in finance have relatively more impact than they do in economics and other STEM fields. Women’s average beliefs about the level of brilliance necessary to be in a field have little explanatory power for women’s representation in finance, but men’s beliefs do. Our results suggest that field-specific culture is a higher barrier to women’s advancement in finance than it is in other fields.



Review of Corporate Finance, Volume 3, Issue 1-2 Special Issue on Gender Diversity in Corporate Finance: Articles Overiew
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