Cut out for that

Kevin Lewis

March 08, 2018

Once in the Door: Gender, Tryouts, and the Initial Salaries of Managers
Adina Sterling & Roberto Fernandez
Management Science, forthcoming


Although women pursue managerial credentials at nearly the same rate as men, gender disparities in wages exist because of the shortfall in wages women sustain relative to men at the onset of their careers. This article develops a tryout approach to test for the presence of demand-side contributions to initial wage inequality while also developing and testing theory on why it may be lessened through internships. Using detailed data on graduates from an elite management program from 2009–2010, our analyses reveal that internships are associated with the gap in men’s and women’s initial salaries. For men, there is no difference in salary offers from employers where an internship occurs versus one where an internship does not occur. However, women receive higher salaries from employers where an internship first takes place.

Black and White discrimination in the United States: Evidence from an archive of survey experiment studies
L.J. Zigerell
Research & Politics, January 2018


This study reports results from a new analysis of 17 survey experiment studies that permitted assessment of racial discrimination, drawn from the archives of the Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences. For White participants (n=10 435), pooled results did not detect a net discrimination for or against White targets, but, for Black participants (n=2781), pooled results indicated the presence of a small-to-moderate net discrimination in favor of Black targets; inferences were the same for the subset of studies that had a political candidate target and the subset of studies that had a worker or job applicant target. These results have implications for understanding racial discrimination in the United States, and, given that some of the studies have never been fully reported on in a journal or academic book, the results also suggest the need for preregistration to reduce or eliminate publication bias in racial discrimination studies.

Does Integration Change Gender Attitudes? The Effect of Randomly Assigning Women to Traditionally Male Teams
Gordon Dahl, Andreas Kotsadam & Dan-Olof Rooth
NBER Working Paper, February 2018


We examine whether exposure of men to women in a traditionally male-dominated environment can change attitudes about mixed-gender productivity, gender roles and gender identity. Our context is the military in Norway, where we randomly assigned female recruits to some squads but not others during boot camp. We find that living and working with women for 8 weeks causes men to adopt more egalitarian attitudes. There is a 14 percentage point increase in the fraction of men who think mixed-gender teams perform as well or better than same-gender teams, an 8 percentage point increase in men who think household work should be shared equally and a 14 percentage point increase in men who do not completely disavow feminine traits. Contrary to the predictions of many policymakers, we find no evidence that integrating women into squads hurt male recruits' satisfaction with boot camp or their plans to continue in the military. These findings provide evidence that even in a highly gender-skewed environment, gender stereotypes are malleable and can be altered by integrating members of the opposite sex.

Diversity Thresholds: How Social Norms, Visibility, and Scrutiny Relate to Group Composition
Edward Chang et al.
Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming


Across a field study and four experiments, we examine how social norms and scrutiny affect decisions about adding members of underrepresented populations (e.g., women, racial minorities) to groups. When groups are scrutinized, we theorize that decision makers strive to match the diversity observed in peer groups due to impression management concerns, thereby conforming to the descriptive social norm. We examine this first in the context of U.S. corporate boards where firms face pressure to increase gender diversity. Analyses of S&P 1500 boards reveal that significantly more boards include exactly two women (the descriptive social norm) than would be expected by chance. This overrepresentation of two-women boards - a phenomenon we call "twokenism" - is more pronounced among more visible companies, consistent with our theorizing around impression management and scrutiny. Experimental data corroborate these findings and provide support for our theoretical mechanism: decision makers are discontinuously less likely to add a woman to a board once it includes two women (the social norm), and decision makers' likelihood of adding a woman or minority to a group is influenced by the descriptive social norms and scrutiny faced. Together, these findings provide a new perspective on the persistent underrepresentation of women and minorities in organizations.

The Gender-Equality Paradox in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education
Gijsbert Stoet & David Geary
Psychological Science, forthcoming


The underrepresentation of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is a continual concern for social scientists and policymakers. Using an international database on adolescent achievement in science, mathematics, and reading (N = 472,242), we showed that girls performed similarly to or better than boys in science in two of every three countries, and in nearly all countries, more girls appeared capable of college-level STEM study than had enrolled. Paradoxically, the sex differences in the magnitude of relative academic strengths and pursuit of STEM degrees rose with increases in national gender equality. The gap between boys’ science achievement and girls’ reading achievement relative to their mean academic performance was near universal. These sex differences in academic strengths and attitudes toward science correlated with the STEM graduation gap. A mediation analysis suggested that life-quality pressures in less gender-equal countries promote girls’ and women’s engagement with STEM subjects.

The Effects of Affirmative Action Bans on Low-Income College Access and Upward Mobility
Sungoh Kwon
University of Connecticut Working Paper, January 2018


In recent years, many states in the U.S. have banned race-based affirmative action in college admissions. Public universities in these states have put more weight on socioeconomic factors such as family income to ensure diverse student body without the explicit consideration of race. This paper investigates whether statewide affirmative action bans improve college access for low-income students and subsequently help them climb the economic ladder. Using institution-level data, I find that affirmative action bans increase the enrollment share of low-income and first-generation students at selective public universities. The positive impact on college access is driven by low-income Asian students. Banning the use of race in admissions also raises the upward mobility rate, which measures the extent to which an institution contributes to intergenerational income mobility.

When Gender Discrimination Is Not About Gender
Katherine Coffman, Christine Exley & Muriel Niederle
Harvard Working Paper, December 2017


We use an experiment to show that employers prefer to hire male over female workers for a male-typed task even when they have identical resumes. Using a novel control condition, we document that this discrimination is not specific to gender. Employers are simply less willing to hire a worker from a group that performs worse on average, even when this group is instead defined by birth month, a non-stereotypical characteristic. A reluctance to discriminate emerges if workers share the gender or birth month of the worker from the worse-performing group, but even then, a small "excuse" counters this reluctance.

Demographically diverse crowds are typically not much wiser than homogeneous crowds
Stephanie de Oliveira & Richard Nisbett
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 27 February 2018, Pages 2066-2071


Averaging independent numerical judgments can be more accurate than the average individual judgment. This “wisdom of crowds” effect has been shown with large, diverse samples, but the layperson wishing to take advantage of this may only have access to the opinions of a small, more demographically homogeneous “convenience sample.” How wise are homogeneous crowds relative to diverse crowds? In simulations and survey studies, we demonstrate three necessary conditions under which small socially diverse crowds can outperform socially homogeneous crowds: Social identity must predict judgment, the effect of social identity on judgment must be at least moderate in size, and the average estimates of the social groups in question must “bracket” the truth being judged. Seven survey studies suggest that these conditions are rarely met in real judgment tasks. Comparisons between the performances of diverse and homogeneous crowds further confirm that social diversity can make crowds wiser but typically by a very small margin.

“Not Merely There to Help the Men”: Equal Pay Laws, Collective Rights, and the Making of the Modern Class Action
David Freeman Engstrom
Stanford Law Review, January 2018, Pages 1-97


Why, in a nation thought pervasively committed to “adversarial legalism,” did mass litigation and, in particular, the class action lawsuit not emerge as significant regulatory tools until at least the 1970s? Standard answers point to New Deal faith in bureaucracy or to an Advisory Committee that was not moved to amend Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure until mounting docket pressures and the desegregation cases of the 1950s and 1960s forced its hand. This Article challenges these accounts by framing the modern class action’s emergence as part of a broader midcentury battle over how to conceptualize collective rights within the emerging New Deal state. Using the untapped archival records of a remarkable lawsuit brought by twenty-nine female factory workers against General Motors in 1938 claiming unequal pay and the heated state- and federal-level legislative campaigns to enact pay equity laws it spurred, this Article presents novel evidence that labor unions killed the earliest efforts to build U.S. antidiscrimination law around the class action. Working against dozens of bills providing for class action authority, damages multipliers, and attorneys’ fees, unions instead pushed the new pay equity laws into an anemic administrative system of regulation because they saw class actions as an existential threat to the New Deal system of labor relations built around collective bargaining. Recovering this history yields two sets of insights. First, it allows us to imagine alternative pathways in the United States’s continuing struggle to combat workplace discrimination. Indeed, a more potent regulatory response to gender discrimination built around class actions of the modern sort could have fundamentally altered the U.S. industrial order and women’s place in it. Second, the early history of the pay equity movement offers an especially clear example of how the tensions between a labor-driven vision of collective rights and one built around adversarial, aggregated litigation of workplace disputes have shaped the evolution of the U.S. regulatory state. That history remains highly relevant today as the U.S. Supreme Court, in a trio of cases asking whether the National Labor Relations Act bars class action waivers in arbitration agreements, must once more reconcile U.S. labor law and the class suit.

Puncturing the pipeline: Do technology companies alienate women in recruiting sessions?
Alison Wynn & Shelley Correll
Social Studies of Science, February 2018, Pages 149-164


A ‘chilly’ environment limits women’s advancement through the educational pipeline leading to jobs in science and technology. However, we know relatively little about the environment women encounter after making it through the educational pipeline. Do technology companies create environments that may dampen women’s interest at the juncture when they are launching their careers? Using original observational data from 84 recruiting sessions hosted by technology companies at a prominent university on the US West Coast, we find that company representatives often engage in behaviors that are known to create a chilly environment for women. Through gender-imbalanced presenter roles, geek culture references, overt use of gender stereotypes, and other gendered speech and actions, representatives may puncture the pipeline, lessening the interest of women at the point of recruitment into technology careers.

Earning Like a Woman: Salaries versus Marginal Revenue Products in the AAGBPL and MLB: 1947-1952
Lisa Giddings & Michael Haupert
Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming


This article exploits heretofore unexplored data from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that existed in the United States from 1943 to 1954 to measure and compare the economic loss to male and female professional baseball players. While female ballplayers earned a fraction of male salaries, they captured nearly twice as much of the revenues that they generated, indicating a smaller degree of exploitation. We hypothesize that in addition to the difference in structures of the two leagues, reservation wages explain the large difference in exploitation rates between the male and female players.

Maybe She Is Relatable: Increasing Women’s Awareness of Gender Bias Encourages Their Identification With Women Scientists
Evava Pietri et al.
Psychology of Women Quarterly, forthcoming


In the current research, we explored whether informing women about gender bias in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) would enhance their identification with a female scientist and whether this increased identification would in turn protect women from any adverse effects of gender bias information. We found that, relative to a control information condition, gender bias information promoted beliefs that a successful woman (but not a man) scientist had encountered bias and encouraged identification with that woman scientist. Feelings of empathic concern was an important mechanism underlying this increased identification (Experiments 2 and 3). Moreover, when presented with a man scientist, information about gender bias in STEM decreased female participants’ anticipated belonging and trust in a STEM environment, compared to participants in a control information condition (Experiment 1a and 1b). However, identifying with a woman scientist after learning about sexism in STEM fields alleviated this harmful effect. Finally, compared to those in the control condition, female college students who learned about gender bias reported greater interest in interacting with a woman STEM professor at their university (Experiment 3). Our results suggest that interventions teaching women about gender bias in STEM will help women identify with women scientists.

Interpreting Signals in the Labor Market: Evidence from Medical Referrals
Heather Sarsons
Harvard Working Paper, November 2017


This paper provides evidence that a person’s gender influences the way others interpret information about his or her ability and documents the implications for gender inequality in labor markets. Using data on physicians’ referrals to surgical specialists, I find that the referring physician views patient outcomes differently depending on the performing surgeon’s gender. Physicians become more pessimistic about a female surgeon’s ability than a male’s after a patient death, indicated by a sharper drop in referrals to the female surgeon. However, physicians become more optimistic about a male surgeon’s ability after a good patient outcome, indicated by a larger increase in the number of referrals the male surgeon receives. After a bad experience with one female surgeon, physicians also become less likely to refer to new female surgeons in the same specialty. There are no such spillovers to other men after a bad experience with one male surgeon. Consistent with learning models, physicians’ reactions to events are strongest when they are beginning to refer to a surgeon. However, the empirical patterns are only consistent with Bayesian learning if physicians do not have rational expectations about the true distribution of surgeon ability.

Does Racial Discrimination Exist Within the NBA? An Analysis Based on Salary-per-Contribution
Riguang Wen
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Methods: I use the ratio between annual salary and standardized contribution to establish a salary-per-contribution index as a basis for comparison of salary differences between black and white NBA players. According to theory of social equity (Adams, 1965. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 2(4):267–99), when considering salary equality, it is necessary to consider differences in both inputs (here, contributions) and outputs (salaries) (Scully. 1974. American Economic Review 64(6):915–30).

Results: For the period 1999–2016, salary-per-contribution is significantly higher for black players overall than for white players overall, being higher before 2006 (but not after). It is also higher for American (but not international) and nonrookie (but not rookie) black players than for white American and nonrookie players (respectively). A higher games started rate increases between black and white players.

The Gender Earnings Gap in the Gig Economy: Evidence from over a Million Rideshare Drivers
Cody Cook et al.
Stanford Working Paper, January 2018


The growth of the "gig" economy generates worker flexibility that, some have speculated, will favor women. We explore one facet of the gig economy by examining labor supply choices and earnings among more than a million rideshare drivers on Uber in the U.S. Perhaps most surprisingly, we find that there is a roughly 7% gender earnings gap amongst drivers. The uniqueness of our data — knowing exactly the production and compensation functions — permits us to completely unpack the underlying determinants of the gender earnings gap. We find that the entire gender gap is caused by three factors: experience on the platform (learning-by-doing), preferences over where/when to work, and preferences for driving speed. This suggests that, as the gig economy grows and brings more flexibility in employment, women’s relatively high opportunity cost of non-paid-work time and gender-based preference differences can perpetuate a gender earnings gap even in the absence of discrimination.

Are Lifestyle Differences Beneficial? The Effects of Marital Diversity on Group Outcomes
Karen (Etty) Jehn & Donald Conlon
Small Group Research, forthcoming


As the number of unmarried adults in the workforce is on the rise, employees increasingly have to navigate lifestyle differences between single, married, and divorced members of their work groups. To understand the impact of this new form of diversity in groups at work, we introduce the concept of marital diversity as an important predictor of group performance outcomes. We argue that marital diversity may benefit group outcomes by providing members with complementary life experiences and skills, without instigating the stereotyping or conflict often associated with other less mutable forms of diversity. In Study 1, an archival study of rock bands reveals that marital diversity positively affects group outcomes when band tenure is high. In Study 2, this pattern is replicated in a study of project groups. Overall, the studies show that marital diversity can positively affect groups, especially groups with longer tenure.

Latino/a Student Threat and School Disciplinary Policies and Practices
Kelly Welch & Allison Ann Payne
Sociology of Education, forthcoming


Using a nationally representative sample of approximately 3,500 public schools, this study builds on and extends our knowledge of how ‘‘minority threat’’ manifests within schools. We test whether various disciplinary policies and practices are mobilized in accordance with Latino/a student composition, presumably the result of a group response to perceptions that white racial dominance is jeopardized. We gauge how schools’ Latino/a student populations are associated with the availability and use of several specific types of discipline. We further explore possible moderating influences of school crime and economic disadvantage on punishment. We find that schools with larger percentages of Latino/a students are more likely to favor certain punitive responses and less likely to favor certain mild responses, as predicted by minority threat. The percentage of Latino/a students is also related to greater use of certain disciplinary responses in schools with less crime.

The "End of Men" and Rise of Women in the High-Skilled Labor Market
Guido Matias Cortes, Nir Jaimovich & Henry Siu
NBER Working Paper, February 2018


We document a new finding regarding changes in labor market outcomes for men and women in the US. Since 1980, conditional on being a college-educated man, the probability of working in a cognitive/high-wage occupation has fallen. This contrasts starkly with the experience for college-educated women: their probability of working in these occupations rose, despite a much larger increase in the supply of educated women relative to men. We consider these facts in light of a general neoclassical model of the labor market. One key channel capable of rationalizing these findings is a greater increase in the demand for female-oriented skills in cognitive/high-wage occupations relative to other occupations. Using occupation-level data, we find evidence that this relative increase in the demand for female skills is due to an increasing importance of social skills within such occupations. Evidence from both male and female wages is also indicative of an increase in the demand for social skills.

Pathways to an Elite Education: Application, Admission, and Matriculation to New York City's Specialized High Schools
Sean Patrick Corcoran & Christine Baker-Smith
Education Finance and Policy, forthcoming


New York City's public specialized high schools have a long history of offering a rigorous, college preparatory education to the city's most academically talented students. Though immensely popular and highly selective, their policy of admitting students using a single entrance exam has raised questions about diversity and equity in access. In this paper, we provide a descriptive analysis of the “pipeline” from middle school to matriculation at a specialized high school, identifying group-level differences in application, admission, and enrollment. In doing so, we highlight potential points of intervention to improve access for under-represented groups. Controlling for other measures of prior achievement, we find black, Hispanic, low-income, and female students are significantly less likely to qualify for admission to a specialized high school. Differences in application and matriculation rates also affect the diversity in these schools, and we find evidence of middle school “effects” on both application and admission. Simulated policies that offer admissions using alternative measures, such as state test scores and grades, suggest many more girls, Hispanics, and white students would be admitted under these alternatives. They would not, however, appreciably increase the share of offers given to black or low-income students.

A longitudinal analysis of salivary testosterone concentrations and competitiveness in elite and non-elite women athletes
Blair Crewther & Christian Cook
Physiology & Behavior, 1 May 2018, Pages 157-161

Methods: Elite (n = 9) and non-elite (n = 21) women athletes were monitored on days 6–8 (follicular phase), 13–15 (ovulatory phase) and 20–22 (Luteal phase) of a menstrual cycle with two repeats. Salivary T levels were assessed before breakfast, followed by two questions (each rated on a 1–7 scale) on competitive desire and training motivation. Using a linear mixed model, we evaluated the menstrual phase and training status effects on each variable, before assessing the within-subject effects of sal-T on competitiveness.

Results: Salivary T concentrations were higher at ovulation (effect size [ES] = 0.2–1.4), relative to the follicular and luteal phases, with a more marked response among elite women (p < .01). The competitiveness ratings showed similar menstrual-phase variation (ES = 0.6–1.0 at ovulation). A positive effect of sal-T on competitiveness emerged in both groups (p < .001), but with different slope patterns (p < .015). Specifically, the elite sal-T relationships with desire to compete (standardized β = 1.147, SE = 0.132) and training motivation (β = 1.195, SE = 0.124) were stronger compared to non-elite women (β = 0.631, SE = 0.114; β = 0.778, SE = 0.114), respectively.

Conclusions: Morning sal-T concentrations, competitive desire and training motivation all peaked around ovulation in women athletes. Notably, sal-T availability and its relationship with competitiveness was stronger among high-performing athletes. Our findings confirm menstrual fluctuations in T and competitiveness among naturally-cycling women, with population context as a moderating factor.

Adults’ sex difference in a dynamic Mental Rotation Task: Validating infant results
Martin Heil et al.
Journal of Individual Differences, Winter 2018, Pages 48-52


With the Mental Rotation Test (MRT), large and reliable sex differences are found. Used with children younger than about 9 or 10 years, MRT performance is at chance level. Simpler tasks used with younger children have revealed inconclusive results. Moore and Johnson (2008, 2011) observed sex differences in infants using a habituation task with 3D cube figures rotating back and forth in depth through a 240° angle. Thereafter, female infants treated similarly the original figure and a mirror-image cube figure presented revolving through the previously unseen 120° angle, whereas male infants behaved as if they recognized the familiar object. In the present study, 256 adults participated in the MRT as well as in a modified two-alternative forced-choice dynamic version of the infants’ task. Sex differences were present for both tasks. More importantly, there was a positive correlation in performance across both tasks for both women and men. Since the new task turned out to be simpler, it might be suitable also for children. We present the first, although indirect, evidence that the sex effects reported by Moore and Johnson might indeed reflect early sex differences in mental rotation.

Academic Probation, Student Performance, and Strategic Course-Taking
Marcus Casey et al.
Economic Inquiry, forthcoming


We use a regression discontinuity design to study how academic probation affects outcomes and course-taking behaviors at a large public university in the United States. Consistent with past work, students placed on probation improve their grade point average (GPA) in the subsequent semester. We document that part of this GPA improvement is attributable to strategic course-taking, and there is significant heterogeneity in these behaviors across race. Non-minority students placed on probation attempt fewer credits, easier courses, and are more likely to withdraw from courses in the following term. In contrast, underrepresented minorities exhibit few of these behaviors, consistent with past work that suggests black and Hispanic students are less likely to possess helpful institutional knowledge and use available support systems such as academic counseling.

Racial Interaction Effects and Student Achievement
Jeffrey Penney
Education Finance and Policy, Fall 2017, Pages 447-467


Previous research has found that students who are of the same race as their teacher tend to perform better academically. This paper examines the possibility that both dosage and timing matter for these racial complementarities. Using a model of education production that explicitly accounts for past observable inputs, a conditional differences-in-differences estimation procedure is used to nonparametrically identify dynamic treatment effects of various sequences of interventions. Applying the methodology to Tennessee's Project STAR class size experiment, I find that racial complementarities may vary considerably according to the treatment path. Early exposures to same-race teachers yield benefits that persist in the medium run. This same-race matching effect may explain a nontrivial portion of the black–white test score gap.

Thoughts about a successful future encourage action in the face of challenge
Mesmin Destin, Vida Manzo & Sarah Townsend
Motivation and Emotion, forthcoming


College environments can put lower socioeconomic status (SES) female students at particular risk of withdrawing during challenging academic situations. However, thinking about reaching a successful future identity may encourage these students to take action rather than withdraw. In a laboratory experiment, we tested the hypothesis that imagining a successful future identity would help lower SES female students to actively and successfully confront challenging tasks (i.e., a mock student–faculty interaction and difficult academic test). As predicted, when future identities were cued rather than past identities, lower SES female students demonstrated greater action readiness. Specifically, they showed more expansive body posture during the mock interaction and more attempts to complete the academic test, which led to better performance. The motivation to take action among higher SES and male students, who are at lower risk of vulnerability in college environments, was not influenced by future identities.

Law School Climates: Job Satisfaction Among Tenured US Law Professors
Katherine Barnes & Elizabeth Mertz
Law & Social Inquiry, forthcoming


In this article, we combine quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate why post-tenure law professors of color and women professors within the US legal academy are differentially dissatisfied with their work lives. Previous social science research has indicated lingering difficulties for professionals from traditionally marginalized groups as they advance to higher levels. Post-tenure law professors have been understudied relative to similar senior-level professionals. Mixed methods allow us to isolate institutional structure and implicit cultural bias as key mediators of this dissatisfaction, converging on issues of respect, voice, and collegiality as crucial. We use the example of the legal academy to show how empirical research can shed important light on the realities of legal professionals — here, the faculty who are training the next generation of US attorneys. Following in the new legal realist tradition, we demonstrate the power of mixed empirical methodologies for grasping social realities pertinent to law.

Prejudice and Racial Matches in Employment
Timothy Bond & Jee-Yeon Lehmann
Labour Economics, April 2018, Pages 271-293


We develop a model in which some employers hold unobservable racial prejudice towards black workers. Workers, however, observe a signal of prejudice status – the presence of a black supervisor. Jobs in firms with black supervisors hold higher option value for black workers, because they are less likely to face prejudice-based termination. Hence, black workers are willing to accept employment with lower expected match quality from firms with black supervisors. We derive predictions on differences in wages and job stability across supervisor race and prejudice levels and find empirical support for them using unique longitudinal data on worker’s supervisor and state-level measures of prejudice.

Do terrorist attacks affect ethnic discrimination in the labour market? Evidence from two randomized field experiments
Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund et al.
British Journal of Sociology, forthcoming


Terrorist attacks are known to influence public opinion. But do they also change behaviour? We address this question by comparing the results of two identical randomized field experiments on ethnic discrimination in hiring that we conducted in Oslo. The first experiment was conducted before the 2011 terrorist attacks in Norway; the second experiment was conducted after the attacks. In both experiments, applicants with a typical Pakistani name were significantly less likely to get a job interview compared to those with a typical Norwegian name. But the ethnic gap in call-back rates were very similar in the two experiments. Thus, Pakistanis in Norway still experienced the same level of discrimination, despite claims that Norwegians have become more positive about migrants after the far-right, anti-migrant terrorist attacks of 2011.

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