In an article on the AEA (American Economic Association) Papers and Proceedings, the authors show that women and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups are less likely to be last authors, an indicator of career independence. In their article Last Place? The Intersection of Ethnicity, Gender, and Race in Biomedical Authorship, they want to highlight the notion that ethnicity, gender, and race are not necessarily additive, but interact to determine experiences and outcomes. Interestingly, the study shows that minority women face less disadvantage than the disadvantage of being black or Hispanic plus the disadvantage of being a woman.
The researchers found a way around the problem small number of minorities and the small number of women in some science careers by using a convention of the biomedical sciences.
The study used a database of 486 644 articles with two to nine authors published in medical journals by U.S. scientists between 1946 and 2009.