Donna K. Ginther

Funded Research

"Gender Differences in Computer Science and Information Technology Majors and Careers," Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, $124,999, 2014-2015 (with Joshua Rosenbloom).
Description: This study will review and summarize previous research on women in IT careers sponsored by the National Science Foundation. In addition, it will update the data on women in CS degrees and IT careers in order to identify points where women are less likely to participate. Finally, we will review programs designed to improve girls and women’s participation in CS and IT.

"An Evaluation of Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility in Medical Schools," Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Grant number B2011-46, $125,000, 2011-2016.
Description: This project evaluates the effect of the Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility on the adoption of policies designed to promote improved workplaces in medical schools.

"Economic and Scientific Effects of Federal Investments in Chemical Science Research," National Science Foundation, $499,604, 2011-2014 (with Joshua Rosenbloom, Joseph Heppert and Ted Juhl).
Description: This project will advance our understanding of the connections between federal funding for university research and development (R&D) in chemistry and a variety of scientific and economic outcomes. We do this using a two-pronged research strategy that combines a novel econometric analysis with qualitative survey data designed to probe the institutional characteristics and climate that underlie the statistical relationships that emerge from the econometric analysis.

"The Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium (KC-AERC)," Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, $600,000, 2011-2012 (with Leigh Anne Taylor Knight and Joseph Heppert).
Description: The shared goal of the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium (KC-AERC) is to improve P-20 education for all students in the Kansas City metropolitan area by providing powerful tools for data-driven educational policy research, evaluation, and implementation (

"Economic Explanations for Gender Differences in Biomedical Careers" National Institute of Aging, Grant Number 1R01AG036820-01, $1,295,640, 2009 – 2013 (with Shulamit Kahn).
Description: In the proposed research we will use economic theories of gender differences in pay and promotion to evaluate data from the Survey of Doctorate Recipients. Our proposal contains three phases. Phase 1 budgets time and money to enhance the quality of the Survey of Doctorate Recipients by combining it publication, citation, patent and NIH grant data. Phase 2 will examine early career progression from the doctorate, to postdoc, and the tenure track. Phase 3 will examine gender differences in pay and promotion. By combining high-quality data with economic theory, our methods will allow us to examine whether gender differences in biomedical careers can be explained by productivity, family, or other employment characteristics. This research could potentially provide the basis for interventions designed to improve outcomes for women in biomedical careers.

"What is the Impact of Science and Engineering Immigration on the U.S. Economy?" Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, $38,952, 2009-2010 (with Serena H. Huang).
Description: This grant funds Serena Huang’s dissertation research.  Most research on immigration focuses on the impact of low-skilled immigrants on the U.S. economy.  The three projects in this proposal will study the impact of high-skilled immigrants on the U.S. labor market.  The first examines the impact of high-skill immigrants on the wages of natives. The second examines changes in the quality of high-skilled immigrants measured by immigrant-native wage differentials. The third examines the impact of foreign educated nurses on health care outcomes.  Preliminary results show that immigration is not associated with lower native earnings science and engineering occupations, but immigrants earn more as do foreign-educated nurses.

"Collaborative Research MOD: Contributions of Foreign Students to Knowledge Creation and Diffusion" National Science Foundation, Grant Number SBE-0738347, $294,280, 2007-2010 (with Shulamit Kahn and Megan MacGarvie, Boston University)
Description: In this project, we investigate whether foreign S&E students receiving U.S. doctorates help diffuse knowledge from the U.S. to other countries and from other countries to the U.S. by analyzing patent citation patterns between foreign-born U.S. PhD recipients’ home country and the U.S. and whether they depend on the recipients stay in the U.S. or return home. Second, we explore whether foreign students educated in the U.S. contribute disproportionately to increases in the rate of S&E knowledge creation, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Finally, because of concern over potential losses to the U.S. if foreign students return home in larger numbers, a third sub-project considers what factors affect the decision of doctorate recipients to leave the U.S. after completing their studies.

"Collaborative Research: Workshop on linking NSF SED/SDR Data to Scientific Productivity" National Science Foundation, Grant Number SRS-0725475, $15,641, 2007-2008 (with Gerald Marschke and Jinyoung Kim).
Description: This grant funded a February, 2008 conference held at the National Science Foundation. Research on innovator’s scientific careers using the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) has been hampered by a lack of information on scientific productivity measured by publications, citations, patents, and grant awards. Likewise, research on innovation and knowledge diffusion has been hampered by lack of information on inventor characteristics. This workshop explored the creation and uses of productivity data matched to the SDR. The goal of this workshop is to foster the creation of the first nationally representative data set that links inventor’s characteristics with their innovations, the Survey of Doctorate Recipients Productivity Data (SDRPD). The SDRPD will create synergies between the fields of labor economics and industrial organization, and these data will provide greater insight into the process of innovation and entrepreneurship. Presentations and resource material related to the workshop can be found at:

"Does Innovation Lead to Entrepreneurship" University of Kanas Center for Research on Entrepreneurial Activity funded by the Kauffman Foundation, $112,414, 2006-2007.
Description: This research will examine entrepreneurship in science by evaluating those personal and institutional characteristics that lead to patents and commercialized products using the 1995 and 2001, and 2003 waves of the Survey of Doctorate Recipients.

"Entrepreneurship in Science"  University of Kanas Center for Research on Entrepreneurial Activity funded by the Kauffman Foundation, Grant Number FND38490, $29,468, 2005-2006.
Description: By its very nature, science is an entrepreneurial endeavor, requiring the scientist to have innovative ideas, marshal research resources, organize the means of production, and finally, publicize those findings in the marketplace of ideas. Science meets the world of business when scientific discoveries are patented and patented discoveries are commercialized.  This research examines entrepreneurship in science by evaluating those personal and institutional characteristics that lead to patents and commercialized products using the 1995–2003 waves of the Survey of Doctorate Recipients.

"Gender Differences in Employment Outcomes for Academics in Science and Social Science"National Science Foundation, Grant Number SES-0353703, $282,753, 2004-2006
Description: The proposed research will investigate the economic explanations for gender differences in salary, promotion, and attrition for academics in science, social science, and engineering using data from the 1973 -2001 waves of the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR).  The study has four goals:  first, to enhance the quality of the SDR by matching it with publication data; second, to examine the effect of productivity on outcomes;  third, to document the facts concerning gender differences in science and social science; and fourth, to use economic theory to explore the causes of the observed gender differences.

"Does Marriage in Sweden Affect Child and Adult Outcomes?"  National Institute of Child Health and Development, Grant Number R03HD048931, $141,637, 2006 - 2008 (with Anders Björklund and Marianne Sundström, SOFI, Stockholm University)
Description: This study examines the correlations and causal impact of cohabitation and marriage on child and adult outcomes using data from Sweden. It begins by establishing the stylized facts on the impact of cohabitation and marriage in Sweden. The second phase will estimate the causal impact of marriage by using a quasi-natural experiment—changes in the Swedish Widow’s Pension—to examine the impact of a policy-induced change in martial status on both child and adult outcomes and using fixed effects estimation to identify these effects as well.