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Project: Understanding the Effects of Gender on Policy Through Textual Analysis of Congressional Data

Congress generates a substantial amount of textual data from its hearings, meetings, speeches, etc. By conducting sentiment analysis on this data, we are trying to understand how gender influences the likelihood of member participation and the resulting policy decisions. Currently, this project has preliminary results and is entering a second phase of analysis, which will involve additional scraping of data and the generation of new methodologies for textual analysis.

Mentor: Heather Sarsons, Assistant Professor of Economics and Diane Swonk Faculty Fellow, Booth School of Business

Heather Sarsons is an economist with research interests in labor, personnel, and behavioral economics. Much of her work focuses on understanding how norms, stereotypes, and biases influence labor market outcomes and inequality.

Prior to joining Booth, Sarsons was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto’s GATE Institute and the U of T Economics Department.

Sarsons received a PhD in economics from Harvard, and a BA in economics from The University of British Columbia. While pursuing her PhD, she was also a visiting student at the London School of Economics.