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Thursday, February 2, 2017

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'Acting Wife': Marriage Market Incentives and Labor Market Investments

Leonardo Bursztyn, Thomas Fujiwara & Amanda Pallais

NBER Working Paper, January 2017

Abstract:
Do single women avoid career-enhancing actions because these actions could signal personality traits, like ambition, that are undesirable in the marriage market? We answer this question through two field experiments in an elite U.S. MBA program. Newly-admitted MBA students filled out a questionnaire on job preferences and personality traits to be used by the career center in internship placement; randomly-selected students thought their answers would be shared with classmates. When they believed their classmates would not see their responses, single and non-single women answered similarly. However, single women reported desired yearly compensation $18,000 lower and being willing to travel seven fewer days per month and work four fewer hours per week when they expected their classmates would see their answers. They also reported less professional ambition and tendency for leadership. Neither men nor non-single women changed their answers in response to peer observability. A supplementary experiment asked students to make choices over hypothetical jobs before discussing their choices in their career class small groups; we randomly varied the groups' gender composition. Single women were much less likely to select career-focused jobs when their answers would be shared with male peers, especially single ones. Two results from observational data support our experimental results. First, in a new survey, almost three-quarters of single female students reported avoiding activities they thought would help their career because they did not want to appear ambitious. They eschewed these activities at higher rates than did men and non-single women. Second, while unmarried women perform similarly to married women in class when their performance is kept private from classmates (on exams and problem sets), they have significantly lower participation grades.

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When Being in the Minority Pays Off: Relationships among Sellers and Price Setting in the Champagne Industry

Amandine Ody-Brasier & Isabel Fernandez-Mateo

American Sociological Review, February 2017, Pages 147-178

Abstract:
Economic sociologists have studied how social relationships shape market prices by focusing mostly on vertical interactions between buyers and sellers. In this article, we examine instead the price consequences of horizontal relationships that arise from intergroup processes among sellers. Our setting is the market for Champagne grapes. Using proprietary transaction-level data, we find that female grape growers — a minority in the growers’ community — charge systematically higher prices than do male grape growers. We argue that the underlying mechanism for this unexpected pattern of results involves the relationships developed and maintained by minority members. Specifically, in-depth fieldwork reveals that female growers get together to compensate for their isolation from the majority. This behavior enables them to overcome local constraints on the availability of price-relevant information, constraints that stem from prevailing norms of market behavior: individualism and secrecy. We discuss the implications of these findings for the study of how relationships shape price-setting processes, for the sociological literature on intergroup relations, and for our understanding of inequality in markets.

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Prejudice or Principled Conservatism? Racial Resentment and White Opinion toward Paying College Athletes

Kevin Wallsten et al.

Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite its widespread use in studies of race and ethnic politics, there exists a long-standing debate about whether racial resentment primarily measures antiblack prejudice or ideological conservatism. In this paper, we attempt to resolve this debate by examining racial resentment’s role in shaping white opinion on a “racialized” policy issue that involves no federal action and no government redistribution of resources: “pay for play” in college athletics. Using cross-sectional and experimental data from the 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, we find evidence not only that racial resentment items tap racial predispositions but also that whites rely on these predispositions when forming and expressing their views on paying college athletes. More specifically, we demonstrate that racially resentful whites who were subtly primed to think about African Americans are more likely to express opposition to paying college athletes when compared with similarly resentful whites who were primed to think about whites. Because free-market conservatism, resistance to changes in the status quo, opposition to expanding federal power, and reluctance to endorse government redistributive policies cannot possibly explain these results, we conclude that racial resentment is a valid measure of antiblack prejudice.

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Racial/Ethnic Differences in Non-Work at Work

Daniel Hamermesh, Katie Genadek & Michael Burda

NBER Working Paper, January 2017

Abstract:
Evidence from the American Time Use Survey 2003-12 suggests the existence of small but statistically significant racial/ethnic differences in time spent not working at the workplace. Minorities, especially men, spend a greater fraction of their workdays not working than do white non-Hispanics. These differences are robust to the inclusion of large numbers of demographic, industry, occupation, time and geographic controls. They do not vary by union status, public-private sector attachment, pay method or age; nor do they arise from the effects of equal-employment enforcement or geographic differences in racial/ethnic representation. The findings imply that measures of the adjusted wage disadvantages of minority employees are overstated by about 10 percent.

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Do State Laws Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Laws Reduce Age Discrimination in Hiring? Experimental (and Nonexperimental) Evidence

David Neumark et al.

University of California Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
We provide evidence from a field experiment — a correspondence study — on age discrimination in hiring for retail sales jobs. We collect experimental data in all 50 states and then relate measured age discrimination — the difference in callback rates between old and young applicants — to variation across states in antidiscrimination laws offering protections to older workers that are stronger than the federal age and disability discrimination laws. We do a similar analysis for nonexperimental data on differences across states in hiring rates of older versus younger workers. The experimental evidence points consistently to evidence of hiring discrimination against older men and more so against older women. However, the evidence on the relationship between hiring discrimination against older workers and state variation in age and disability discrimination laws is not so clear; at a minimum, there is not a compelling case that stronger state protections reduce hiring discrimination against older workers. In contrast, the non-experimental evidence suggests that stronger disability discrimination protections increase the relative hiring of older workers.

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Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children’s interests

Lin Bian, Sarah-Jane Leslie & Andrei Cimpian

Science, 27 January 2017, Pages 389-391

Abstract:
Common stereotypes associate high-level intellectual ability (brilliance, genius, etc.) with men more than women. These stereotypes discourage women’s pursuit of many prestigious careers; that is, women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance (such as physics and philosophy). Here we show that these stereotypes are endorsed by, and influence the interests of, children as young as 6. Specifically, 6-year-old girls are less likely than boys to believe that members of their gender are “really, really smart.” Also at age 6, girls begin to avoid activities said to be for children who are “really, really smart.” These findings suggest that gendered notions of brilliance are acquired early and have an immediate effect on children’s interests.

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A social-cognitive approach to understanding gender differences in negotiator ethics: The role of moral identity

Jessica Kennedy, Laura Kray & Gillian Ku

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, January 2017, Pages 28–44

Abstract:
To date, gender differences in ethics have received little theoretical attention. We utilize a social-cognitive framework to explain why these differences emerge and when women engage in less unethical negotiating behavior than do men. We propose that, relative to men’s, women’s stronger moral identities suppress unethical negotiating behavior. Study 1 establishes a gender difference in moral identity strength through a meta-analysis of over 19,000 people. Study 2 observes gender differences in two aspects of negotiator ethics – moral disengagement and opportunism. Study 3 establishes moral identity strength as an antecedent to negotiator ethics. Finally, Studies 4 and 5 explore financial incentives as a situational moderator. Because financial incentives temporarily decrease the salience of moral identity, they could mitigate gender differences in negotiator ethics, leading women to act more like men. Across both studies, financial incentives impacted women’s (but not men’s) unethical negotiating behavior. Our findings help to explain why and when gender differences in ethics emerge.

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Gender, Parental Status, and the Wage Premium in Finance

Ken-Hou Lin & Megan Tobias Neely

Social Currents, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous research documents a growing wage premium for elite financial workers since the 1980s. A second line of research finds substantial gender disparities in earnings and career mobility among elite financial workers. Yet little is known about whether women in finance still receive a wage premium compared with their nonfinance counterparts. In addition, few studies examine whether similar gender disparities exist among nonelite financial workers. This article examines how the wage premium for working in the financial sector varies by gender and parental status across the wage distribution. We report that women earn a greater wage premium than men in low-wage financial jobs, while almost all of the increase in wages in high finance is captured by elite men, particularly fathers. Consequently, the financial sector simultaneously exacerbates and mitigates gender inequalities at different locations of the labor market. Our findings highlight the significance of institutional context in amplifying and attenuating the reward and penalty associated with gender and parental status.

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Psychological Momentum and Gender

Danny Cohen-Zada, Alex Krumer & Ze'ev Shtudiner

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
We exploit a natural experiment in which two professionals compete in a one-stage contest without strategic motives and where one contestant has a clear exogenous psychological momentum advantage over the other in order to estimate the causal effect of psychological momentum on performance. This unique setting commonly occurs in bronze medal fights in professional judo. Based on data on all major international tournaments during the period between 2009 and 2013 we find that men's performance is significantly affected by psychological momentum, while women's is not. This result is robust to different specifications and estimation strategies. Our results are in line with evidence in the biological literature that testosterone, which is known to enhance performance of both men and women, commonly increases following victory and decreases following loss only among men.

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The Gender Gap in College Major: Revisiting the Role of Pre-College Factors

Jamin Speer

Labour Economics, January 2017, Pages 69–88

Abstract:
This paper considers the importance of pre-college test scores in accounting for gender gaps in college major. Large gaps in major content exist: men are more likely to study math-, science-, and business-intensive fields, while women are more likely to study humanities-, social science-, and education-intensive fields. Previous research has found that gender differences in college preparation, typically measured by SAT scores, can account for only a small portion of these differences. Using a broader array of pre-college test scores (the ASVAB), I show that differences in college preparation can actually account for a large portion of most gender gaps in college major content, including 62% of the gap in science, 66% of the gap in humanities, and 47% of the gap in engineering. SAT scores explain less than half as much as the ASVAB scores, while noncognitive skill measures appear to explain none of the gaps in major. The gender gaps in test scores, particularly in science and mechanical fields, exist by the mid-teenage years and grow with age.

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CEO age and CEO gender: Are female CEOs older than their male counterparts?

Pradit Withisuphakorn & Pornsit Jiraporn

Finance Research Letters, forthcoming

Abstract:
Motivated by the debate on gender inequality, we study CEO gender and CEO age. Because women face significantly more obstacles in advancing their careers, it may take them longer to reach the top position, i.e. the chief executive officer (CEO). If this is the case, female CEOs should be older than their male counterparts on average. Our evidence shows that female CEOs are actually younger on average, approximately two full years younger than male CEOs, after controlling for firm and board characteristics. The two-year difference represents as much as 26% of the standard deviation in CEO age.

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Hunter-gatherer males are more risk-seeking than females, even in late childhood

Coren Apicella, Alyssa Crittenden & Victoria Tobolsky

Evolution and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Observed economic and labor disparities between the sexes may, in part, result from evolved sex differences in risk preferences. Using incentivized economic games, we report on sex differences in risk preferences in the Hadza, a population of hunter-gatherers. One game played in 2010 (n = 233) found that more Hadza males than females prefer to gamble for a chance to earn more maize rather than settle for a sure, but smaller, amount. Similarly, a second game played in 2013 (n = 102) found that male Hadza gamble a greater proportion of honey for a chance to earn more compared to female Hadza. Effect sizes are small to medium. We find weak evidence that risk-taking increases in men as their mating opportunities increase. In both games, the sex difference widens throughout childhood and is greatest among adolescents; though note that child samples are small. We explore developmental trends further using observational data on food returns in children (n = 357). Our data suggest that while the mean number of calories boys bring to camp remains stable with age, the variance in their caloric returns increases. Among girls, the variance remains stable with increased age. Both the economic games and food return data are consistent with the sexual division of labor wherein boys, beginning in late childhood, begin to target riskier foods. To the extent that the Hadza allow us to make inferences about long-standing patterns of human behavior, we suggest that sex differences in risk preferences may have been present long before agriculture and the modern work environment.

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An Analysis of Perceptions of Job Insecurity among White and Black Workers in the United States: 1977–2012

Masanori Kuroki

Review of Black Political Economy, December 2016, Pages 289–300

Abstract:
While objective measures indicate that the risk of job loss is higher for black workers than for white workers, there is little research on how what workers’ expectations of job loss differ by race. This study looks at how secure black and white workers are feeling about their jobs and how their perceptions of job insecurity have been affected by time trends and regional unemployment rates. I find that perceptions of job security of black male workers, older black workers, and black high school graduates have deteriorated relative to their white counterparts during the period 1977–2012. Among those who attended college, white workers’ perceived job insecurity has increased. Black blue-collar workers’ and construction workers’ perceptions of job insecurity also have increased relative to their white counterparts. Moreover, perceptions of job insecurity among several black groups, such as high school dropouts and old workers, are more sensitive to regional unemployment rates than their white counterparts.

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State Affirmative Action Bans and STEM Degree Completions

Andrew Hill

Economics of Education Review, April 2017, Pages 31–40

Abstract:
This paper investigates the effect of statewide affirmative action bans on minority STEM degree completions at US public four-year colleges. The number of minority students completing STEM degrees at highly selective colleges falls by nineteen percent five years after affirmative action bans, while there is no change in the total number of students completing STEM degrees. This indicates that a nontrivial number of minority students only admitted to highly selective colleges because of affirmative action graduate in STEM during periods of race preferences in college admissions. There is no convincing evidence of effects at moderately selective colleges. These findings speak to the recent debate about the extent to which minority students admitted to top ranked colleges due to affirmative action may have higher probabilities of graduating in the sciences if they had attended lower ranked colleges. Results are presented with the caveats that changes in race reporting caused by affirmative action bans may upwardly bias estimated effects, and that estimated aggregate effects may not fully capture all student-level responses.

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Predatory Inclusion and Education Debt: Rethinking the Racial Wealth Gap

Louise Seamster & Raphaël Charron-Chénier

Social Currents, forthcoming

Abstract:
Analyses of the recent surge in racial wealth inequality have tended to focus on changes in asset holdings. Debt patterns, by contrast, have remained relatively unexplored. Using 2001 to 2013 data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, we show that after peaking in 2007, racial inequalities for most debt types returned to prefinancial crisis levels. The exception has been educational debt — on which we focus in this article. Our analyses show that educational debt has increased substantially for blacks relative to whites in the past decade. Notably, this unequal growth is not attributable to differences in educational attainment across racial groups. Rather, and as we argue, this trend reflects a process of predatory inclusion — a process wherein lenders and financial actors offer needed services to black households but on exploitative terms that limit or eliminate their long-term benefits. Predatory inclusion, we propose, is one of the mechanisms behind the persistence of racial inequality in contemporary markets.

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The Grad Cohort Workshop: Evaluating an Intervention to Retain Women Graduate Students in Computing

Jane Stout et al.

Frontiers in Psychology, January 2017

Abstract:
Women engaged in computing career tracks are vastly outnumbered by men and often must contend with negative stereotypes about their innate technical aptitude. Research suggests women's marginalized presence in computing may result in women psychologically disengaging, and ultimately dropping out, perpetuating women's underrepresentation in computing. To combat this vicious cycle, the Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) runs a multi-day mentorship workshop for women graduate students called Grad Cohort, which consists of a speaker series and networking opportunities. We studied the long-term impact of Grad Cohort on women Ph.D. students' (a) dedication to becoming well-known in one's field, and giving back to the community (professional goals), (b) the degree to which one feels computing is an important element of “who they are” (computing identity), and (c) beliefs that computing skills are innate (entity beliefs). Of note, entity beliefs are known to be demoralizing and can lead to disengagement from academic endeavors. We compared a propensity score matched sample of women and men Ph.D. students in computing programs who had never participated in Grad Cohort to a sample of past Grad Cohort participants. Grad Cohort participants reported interest in becoming well-known in their field to a greater degree than women non-participants, and to an equivalent degree as men. Also, Grad Cohort participants reported stronger interest in giving back to the community than their peers. Further, whereas women non-participants identified with computing to a lesser degree than men and held stronger entity beliefs than men, Grad Cohort participants' computing identity and entity beliefs were equivalent to men. Importantly, stronger entity beliefs predicted a weaker computing identity among students, with the exception of Grad Cohort participants. This latter finding suggests Grad Cohort may shield students' computing identity from the damaging nature of entity beliefs. Together, these findings suggest Grad Cohort may fortify women's commitment to pursuing computing research careers and move the needle toward greater gender diversity in computing.

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Diversity in Innovation

Paul Gompers & Sophie Wang

NBER Working Paper, January 2017

Abstract:
In this paper we document the patterns of labor market participation by women and ethnic minorities in venture capital firms and as founders of venture capital-backed startups. We show that from 1990-2016 women have been less than 10% of the entrepreneurial and venture capital labor pool, Hispanics have been around 2%, and African Americans have been less than 1%. This is despite the fact that all three groups have much higher representation in education programs that lead to careers in these sectors as well as having higher representation in other highly-compensated professions. Asians, on the other hand, have much higher representation in the venture capital and entrepreneurial sector than their overall percentages in the labor force. We explore potential supply side explanations including both education attainment as well as relevant prior job experience. We also explore the correlation between diversity and state-level variations. Finally, we discuss how these patterns are consistent with homophily-based hiring and homophily-induced information flows about career choices. We end the paper by discussing areas for future research.

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Court Orders, White Flight, and School District Segregation, 1970–2010

John Logan, Weiwei Zhang & Deirdre Oakley

Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
American public schools experienced a substantial reduction of black-white segregation after the Supreme Court ordered the immediate desegregation of Mississippi schools in 1969. Past research has shown that progress slowed by the 1990s, with some arguing that segregation actually began to rebound. This study is the first to examine enrollment data for each decade between 1970 and 2010 for a comprehensive set of districts across the country and also the first to include data for 1980 for a national sample of districts. It provides definitive evidence that most desegregation occurred in the 1970s, with little subsequent change. It also addresses two questions about the desegregation process. First, how closely was it tied to court orders for a particular school district or for a neighboring district? Desegregation was greatest in response to a legal mandate, but it also extended to districts that never faced court action. Second, what was the effect of mandates on white flight? White student enrollment declined generally in these decades but more in districts that faced a mandate in the immediate past decade. White flight contributed to a modest increase in segregation between school districts, but desegregation within districts was sufficient to result in a large net decline at a metropolitan level.

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Sex Differences in Mental Rotation Tasks: Not Just in the Mental Rotation Process!

Alexander Boone & Mary Hegarty

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, forthcoming

Abstract:
The paper-and-pencil Mental Rotation Test (Vandenberg & Kuse, 1978) consistently produces large sex differences favoring men (Voyer, Voyer, & Bryden, 1995). In this task, participants select 2 of 4 answer choices that are rotations of a probe stimulus. Incorrect choices (i.e., foils) are either mirror reflections of the probe or structurally different. In contrast, in the mental rotation experimental task (Shepard & Metzler, 1971) participants judge whether 2 stimuli are the same but rotated or different by mirror reflection. The goal of the present research was to examine sources of sex differences in mental rotation, including the ability to capitalize on the availability of structure foils. In 2 experiments, both men and women had greater accuracy and faster reaction times (RTs) for structurally different compared with mirror foils in different versions of the Vandenberg and Kuse Mental Rotation Test (Experiment 1) and the Shepard and Metzler experimental task (Experiment 2). A significant male advantage in accuracy but not response time was found for both trial types. The male advantage was evident when all foils were structure foils so that mental rotation was not necessary (Experiment 3); however, when all foils were structure foils and participants were instructed to look for structure foils a significant sex difference was no longer evident (Experiment 4). Results suggest that the mental rotation process is not the only source of the sex difference in mental rotation tasks. Alternative strategy use is another source of sex differences in these tasks.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM