What they found was surprising: Despite similar training and background in economic principles, male and female economists tended to hold sharply different views about some of the biggest and most hotly debated economic issues.

For example, female economists were more likely to say employers should provide health insurance and that income distribution should be more equal. They also were more likely to disagree with the use of educational vouchers.

Women also were far more likely to conclude that job opportunities for men and women are not equal, and that specifically the economic profession favors men over women.

“We were a little surprised to see that there were these striking differences,” May said.