Juan José Ganuza wins the Alexandre Pedrós award for an article that examines whether there is a gender gap in the MIR exam model

Juan José Ganuza wins the Alexandre Pedrós award for an article that examines whether there is a gender gap in the MIR exam model



The full professor with the UPF Department of Economics and Business is the co-author of an article judged the best published in the journal Hacienda Pública Española/Review of Public Economics in 2020.

Juan José Ganuza, a full professor with the UPF Department of Economics and Business and lecturer at the Barcelona School of Econimics ( BSE ), is a co-author of "Gender Gap and Multiple-choice Exams in Public Selection Processes", which has been selected as the winner of the Alexandre Pedrós award for the best article published in the journal Hacienda Pública Española/Review of Public Economics in 2020.

The article focuses on analysing whether there are differences between men and women when answering multiple-choice questions in the Médico Interno Residente (MIR) resident medical intern exam in Spain

The article, that Juan José Ganuza wrote jointly with José Ignacio-Conde Ruiz (Complutense University of Madrid and deputy director of FEDEA) and Manuel García (Washington University in St. Louis and the Complutense University of Madrid), focuses on analysing whether there are differences between men and women when answering multiple-choice questions in the Médico Interno Residente (MIR) resident medical intern exam in Spain.

The award, which the Management Board of the journal decided to grant the article co-authored by Juan José Ganuza, is endowed with 1,500 euros, and is organized by the Barcelona Economic Society of Friends of the Country. The prize includes a second category for best paper presented by a researcher under 30 at the Public Economics Meeting, which was held this year in A Coruña in late May, and went to Ander Iraizoz of the Paris School of Economics, for "Saving for retirement through the public pension system: Evidence from the self-employed in Spain".

Does the MIR multiple-choice system penalize women?

"Gender Gap and Multiple-choice Exams in Public Selection Processes", the article co-authored by Juan José Ganuza, analyses the use in the selection of public officials of multiple-choice test systems that implement penalties. Specifically, it focuses on the national MIR (Médico Interno Residente) resident medical intern exam in 2019. Such tests have a long-term impact on the careers of the people who take them.

The authors seek to find out whether women skip more questions than men in these tests and whether that harms their performance, as previous studies had suggested. This, if true, would mean a gender gap in the public sector, and could be a warning about the system of public procurement policies to attract talent.

The authors do not find sufficient evidence to doubt the use of the multiple-choice system with penalties in the public selection process of public servants.

The conclusions of the article are that when women prepare and train well for the test, the number of unanswered questions in comparison with men is very small and has little impact on the final outcome of the MIR examination. Thus, they do not find sufficient evidence to doubt the use of the multiple-choice system with penalties in the public selection process of public servants. Moreover, the authors suggest that it would be unlikely that the performance of women would improve significantly if there were no penalties in this testing system.

Reference work: Ignacio Conde-Ruiz, Juan José Ganuza and Manuel García " Gender Gap and Multiple-choice Exams in Public Selection Processes ". Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, issue 235-(4/2020), pp. 11-28.


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