Memo of opportunity

Kevin Lewis

August 24, 2017

Identical applicant but different outcomes: The impact of gender versus race salience in hiring
Aneeta Rattan, Jennifer Steele & Nalini Ambady
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, forthcoming

People belong to multiple social groups, which may have conflicting stereotypic associations. A manager evaluating an Asian woman for a computer programming job could be influenced by negative gender stereotypes or by positive racial stereotypes. We hypothesized that evaluations of job candidates can depend upon what social group is more salient, even when both are apparent. In three studies, using student (Study 1) and nonstudent (Studies 2 and 3) samples, we compared ratings of an Asian American female applicant after subtly making her race or gender salient in stereotypically male employment contexts. Consistent with our predictions, we found evidence that men rated her as more skilled (Studies 1 and 3), more hirable (Studies 1–3), and offered her more pay (Study 2) in science and technology-related positions when her race, rather than gender, was salient. The theoretical implications for person perception and practical implications in employment contexts are discussed.

Beyond Black and White: Suspension Disparities for Hispanic, Asian, and White Youth
Mark Alden Morgan & John Paul Wright
Criminal Justice Review, forthcoming

Studies have consistently found a significant gap between Black and White students in various forms of school discipline. Few studies, however, have examined disciplinary differences between other racial and ethnic groups. Focusing on out-of-school suspensions, a punishment closely linked to the “school-to-prison pipeline,” we investigate the disparities between Hispanic, Asian, and White youth. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class are used to control for contemporary socioeconomic variables, the context of the school environment, and the parent-reported behavior of the student. Through a series of logistic regression models, we found that White students were significantly more likely to be suspended than were Hispanics or Asians. However, while the disparity between Hispanics and Whites was eliminated after controlling for student misbehavior, the gap persisted between Asians and Whites. These results question the contention that systemic racial discrimination is a leading contributor to group differences in school discipline. Moreover, we add to a limited but growing literature showing Asian students are significantly less likely to experience school punishments including suspension.

Classroom Diversity and Academic Outcomes
Angela Dills
Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

This paper tests how the race and ethnicity of one's college classmates affect academic performance. Incoming students at a Catholic college are assigned to their first semester, team-taught, required course. Statistical tests support that this assignment is uncorrelated with a variety of student characteristics. Controlling for team fixed effects and student characteristics, I find evidence of racial peer effects that differ for white students and students of color. White students earn higher grades in classes with more students of color. Students of color with more nonwhite classmates earn lower grades; these effects occur exclusively among those with lower SAT scores.

To Delegate or not to Delegate: Gender Differences in Affective Associations and Behavioral Responses to Delegation
Modupe Akinola, Ashley Martin & Kathy Phillips
Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming

Effectively delegating work to others is considered critical to managerial success, as it frees up managers' time and develops subordinates' skills. We propose that female leaders are less likely than male leaders to capitalize on these benefits of delegating. Although delegation has communal (e.g., relational) and agentic (e.g., assertive) properties, we argue that female leaders, as compared to male leaders, find it more difficult to delegate tasks due to gender-role incongruence. In five studies, we draw upon social role and backlash theories to show that women imbue delegation with more agentic traits, have more negative associations with delegating, and feel greater guilt about delegating than men. These associations result in women delegating less than men and, when they do delegate, having lower-quality interactions with subordinates. We further show that reframing delegation as communal attenuates women's negative associations with delegation. These findings reveal that even when a given behavior has both agentic and communal elements, perceptions of agency can undermine women's engagement in them. However, emphasizing the communal nature of seemingly agentic acts may encourage women's engagement in such critical leadership behaviors. These findings have theoretical and practical implications for research on gender differences and leadership behavior in the workplace.

The Femininity–Money Incongruity Hypothesis: Money and Femininity Reminders Undermine Women’s Cognitive Performance
Jill Allen & Sarah Gervais
Psychology of Women Quarterly, forthcoming

Women are often stereotyped as poorly equipped to deal with money matters, compared to men, yet very little research has examined the underpinnings and consequences of such gender stereotypes. Drawing on descriptive and prescriptive elements of women’s social roles, we empirically examined the gendered nature of money stereotypes. Specifically in the current work, we introduced and investigated the femininity–money incongruity hypothesis, which suggests that when the concepts of femininity and money are both cognitively activated, money will become a liability for women, causing decrements in cognitive functioning. We first probed the role of gender identity and benevolent sexism beliefs in women’s endorsement of money–gender stereotypes. In two subsequent experiments, we tested the hypothesis that simultaneously activating money and femininity would lead to decrements in cognitive functioning. Converging results across studies suggest that money is incompatible with the stereotypic female gender identity, and this incongruity has detrimental cognitive costs for women as they navigate gender roles. Implications of societal challenges imposed on women by gender stereotypes regarding money matters at work and in relationship contexts and proposed interventions are discussed.

Fertile Women Discount the Future: Conception Risk and Impulsivity Are Independently Associated with Financial Decisions
Margery Lucas & Elissa Koff
Evolutionary Psychological Science, September 2017, Pages 261–269

According to the ovulatory shift hypothesis, women’s behavior near ovulation changes in ways that will enhance mating opportunities. In this study, the relationship between the ovulatory cycle and financial decision-making was investigated. We hypothesized that fertile women, compared to non-fertile women, would exhibit steeper discounting in a monetary choice task, i.e., they would prefer smaller, sooner rewards over larger, later ones, in order to secure resources that could be used for mating purposes. One hundred college-aged women who were normally ovulating and not on hormonal contraceptives completed a monetary choice task along with measures of three forms of impulsivity: nonplanning, motor, and financial. Conception risk was assessed in two ways, by discrete cycle phase windows and by a continuous measure. Results indicated that both fertility and financial impulsivity predicted future discounting. Neither nonplanning nor motor impulsivity influenced discounting. There was no interaction between impulsivity measures and conception risk, suggesting that fertility and impulsivity have independent effects on future discounting. The findings are consistent with the ovulatory shift hypothesis in showing that women’s economic behavior, particularly their preferences for acquiring resources now rather than later, is related to their fertility status. This behavior might be adaptive in that it could help women to gain resources that could enhance their appearance in the service of attracting potential mates or deterring rivals.

Gender Stereotyping in Academia: Evidence from Economics Job Market Rumors Forum
Alice Wu
University of California Working Paper, August 2017

This paper examines whether people in academia portray and judge women and men differently in everyday "conversations" that take place online. I combine methods from text mining, machine learning and econometrics to study the existence and extent of gender stereotyping on Economics Job Market Rumors forum. Through a topic analysis, I find that the discourse tends to become significantly less academic or professional oriented, and more about personal information and physical appearance when women are mentioned. The words with the strongest predictive power on gender, selected by the Lasso-logistic model, provide a direct look into the gender stereotyping language on this forum. Moreover, a panel data analysis reveals the state dependence between the content of posts within a thread. In particular, if women are mentioned previously in a thread, the topic is likely to shift from academic to personal. Finally, I restrict the analysis to discussions on specific economists, and find that high-profile female economists tend to receive more attention on EJMR than their male counterparts.

Hours, Occupations, and Gender Differences in Labor Market Outcomes
Andrés Erosa et al.
NBER Working Paper, July 2017

We document a robust negative relationship between the log of mean annual hours in an occupation and the standard deviation of log annual hours within that occupation. We develop a unified model of occupational choice and labor supply that features heterogeneity across occupations in the return to working additional hours and show that it can match the key features of the data both qualitatively and quantitatively. We use the model to shed light on gender differences in labor market outcomes that arise because of gender asymmetries in home production responsibilities. Our model generates large gender gaps in hours of work, occupational choices, and wages. In particular, an exogenous difference in time devoted to home production of ten hours per week increases the observed gender wage gap by roughly eleven percentage points and decreases the share of females in high hours occupations by fourteen percentage points. The implied misallocation of talent across occupations has significant aggregate effects on productivity and welfare.

As You Sow, So Shall You Reap: Gender-Role Attitudes and Late-Life Cognition
Eric Bonsang, Vegard Skirbekk & Ursula Staudinger
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Some studies have found that women outperform men in episodic memory after midlife. But is this finding universal, and what are the reasons? Gender differences in cognition are the result of biopsychosocial interactions throughout the life course. Social-cognitive theory of gender development posits that gender roles may play an important mediating role in these interactions. We analyzed country differences in the gender differential in cognition after midlife using data from individuals age 50 and above (N = 226,661) from 27 countries. As expected, older women performed relatively better in countries characterized by more equal gender-role attitudes. This result was robust to cohort differences as well as reverse causality. The effect was partially mediated by education and labor-force participation. Cognition in later life thus cannot be fully understood without reference to the opportunity structures that sociocultural environments do (or do not) provide. Global population aging raises the importance of understanding that gender roles affect old-age cognition and productivity.

Gender and Negative Network Ties: Exploring Difficult Work Relationships Within and Across Gender
Jennifer Merluzzi
Organization Science, forthcoming

This study applies a social network approach toward understanding gender and negative work relationships. Given that work is increasingly organized using diverse, informal work groups inside firms, we stand to benefit from better knowledge of whether and how negative interactions in the workplace may be gendered. Using rich network data collected inside two firms, this study examines the networks of professional managers citing a difficult work relationship (negative tie) revealing gender similarities and differences. Although women and men do not differ in their likelihood to cite a negative work tie, women are more likely (than men) to cite a woman as a negative tie. This propensity to cite a woman as difficult however is reduced among women who cite having more women in their social support networks at work compared with women citing fewer women for support. These effects remain robust to a host of controls and exploratory analyses that include analyzing the content of respondent explanations of the negative tie, formal rank differences between the respondent and target of the negative tie, and possible links to organizational commitment and subsequent employee exit. Overall, this study brings a fine-grained, relational perspective to the study of gendered negative work ties, contributing to scholarship on network disadvantage.

Representation and Salary Gaps by Race-Ethnicity and Gender at Selective Public Universities
Diyi Li & Cory Koedel
Educational Researcher, forthcoming

We use data from 2015–2016 to document faculty representation and wage gaps by race-ethnicity and gender in six fields at selective public universities. Consistent with widely available information, Black, Hispanic, and female professors are underrepresented and White and Asian professors are overrepresented in our data. Disadvantaged minority and female underrepresentation is driven predominantly by underrepresentation in science and math intensive fields. A comparison of senior and junior faculty suggests a trend toward greater diversity, especially in science and math intensive fields, because younger faculty are more diverse. However, Black faculty are an exception. We decompose racial-ethnic and gender wage gaps and show that academic field, experience, and research productivity account for most or all of the gaps. We find no evidence of wage premiums for individuals who improve diversity, although for Black faculty we cannot rule out a modest premium.

Risk, success, and failure: Female entrepreneurship in late Victorian and Edwardian England
Jennifer Aston & Paolo Di Martino
Economic History Review, August 2017, Pages 837–858

This article analyses female entrepreneurship in late Victorian and Edwardian England. Traditional views on female entrepreneurship in nineteenth- and twentieth-century England point towards a decline in the number and relevance of women as business owners in comparison to the eighteenth century, and their retreat into a ‘separate sphere’ away from the world of trade and production. Recent studies, however, have deeply challenged this view, suggesting that women still played an important role as entrepreneurs during industrialization and beyond. Nevertheless, a number of questions remain unanswered with regard to the features of female entrepreneurship during these phases of British history, and issues such as scale of operation, attitude to risk, credit structure, and managerial styles are still widely debated. Using original sources, this article provides a novel view on these issues, analysing female entrepreneurship from the perspective of bankruptcy. Analysing statistics on women's bankruptcy derived from Board of Trade reports, as well as a sample of archival cases, this article argues that overall female business owners traded in ways similar to their male counterparts in terms of business size, risk-taking, and, eventually, success.

Faculty Service Loads and Gender: Are Women Taking Care of the Academic Family?
Cassandra Guarino & Victor Borden
Research in Higher Education, September 2017, Pages 672–694

This paper investigates the amount of academic service performed by female versus male faculty. We use 2014 data from a large national survey of faculty at more than 140 institutions as well as 2012 data from an online annual performance reporting system for tenured and tenure–track faculty at two campuses of a large public, Midwestern University. We find evidence in both data sources that, on average, women faculty perform significantly more service than men, controlling for rank, race/ethnicity, and field or department. Our analyses suggest that the male–female differential is driven more by internal service — i.e., service to the university, campus, or department — than external service — i.e., service to the local, national, and international communities — although significant heterogeneity exists across field and discipline in the way gender differentials play out.

Something to celebrate (or not): The differing impact of promotion to manager on the job satisfaction of women and men
Daniela Lup
Work, Employment and Society, forthcoming

The literatures on gender status stereotyping and the ‘glass-ceiling’ have shown that women managers have more difficult job experiences than men, but whether these experiences result in lower job satisfaction is still an open question. Using fixed-effects models in a longitudinal national sample, this study examines differences in job satisfaction between women and men promoted into lower and higher-level management, after controlling for key determinants of job satisfaction. Results indicate that promotions to management are accompanied by an increase in job satisfaction for men but not for women, and that the differing effect lasts beyond the promotion year. Moreover, following promotion, the job satisfaction of women promoted to higher-level management even starts declining. The type of promotion (internal or lateral) does not modify this effect. By clarifying the relationship between gender, promotion to managerial position and job satisfaction, the study contributes to the literature on the gender gap in managerial representation.

Who gets the benefit of the doubt? The impact of causal reasoning depth on how violations of gender stereotypes are evaluated
Steffen Keck & Linda Babcock
Journal of Organizational Behavior, forthcoming

A large body of research demonstrates that women encounter severe penalties for violating gender stereotypes. In this paper, we explore the conditions under which the reverse is true — when being subject to a stereotype can actually benefit a woman compared to a man who is not subject to the same stereotype. In particular, we suggest that in situations of causal ambiguity — uncertainty about the reasons that a behavior occurred — differences in how men and women are evaluated will be moderated by the extent to which observers engage in a low or a high level of deliberative causal reasoning. In 3 experimental studies, participants were asked to make judgments about an employee who violated a female gender stereotype by failing to provide help to a coworker when asked to do so, but the reasons for this behavior were unclear. When participants were prompted to engage in deliberative causal reasoning, women were evaluated more positively than men, but not in the absence of such a prompt. Moreover, when participants did engage in deliberative causal reasoning, the more positive evaluations of women compared to men were driven by participants' beliefs that women's behavior was due more to situational constraints than the same behavior by men.

Scouting for Good Jobs: Gender and Network Mobilization in the Search for Managerial Work
Elena Obukhova & Adam Kleinbaum
Dartmouth College Working Paper, June 2017

The gender gap in career attainment is well-known, but prior research has assumed that if social networks play a role in creating this gap, it is structural: women have networks that are poorer in resources. We posit and test an alternative mechanism: that independent of any differences in structure, women and men mobilize their networks differently. To empirically investigate this mechanism, we examine gender differences in network mobilization when the same network structure is exogenously imposed on both women and men. Specifically, we study the mobilization of “weak ties” to alumni by job-seeking students in an elite MBA program using server logs to directly observe students’ outreach to alumni. We find, despite the conventional wisdom that women network less or less effectively than men, that female MBA students mobilize more alumni ties in their job searches compared to their male classmates and they do so by contacting more junior, female alumni (but do not contact fewer male or senior alumni). Additional analyses are consistent with a “scouting” mechanism, in which women mobilize their networks to gain an indepth understanding of prospective employers’ organizational culture and practices, especially as they might affect female employees, and are inconsistent with numerous other explanations.

Diversity in Faculty Hiring on Two University Campuses: A Comparison of Faculty and Student Preferences using Conjoint Analysis
John Carey et al.
Dartmouth College Working Paper, June 2017

Using a novel statistical method to identify multidimensional preferences, fully randomized conjoint analysis, we analyze preferences for diversity in faculty hiring at two large public universities in the U.S. Our analysis shows that preferences for gender diversity and racial/ethnic diversity in faculty hiring are stronger among faculty than among students. Furthermore, the differences between students and faculty tend to be larger and more consistent than differences within students or faculty across race/ethnic, gender, or socioeconomic class divisions. Our findings thus present some challenge to the idea that preferences for diversity are associated primarily with salient social identities. We propose two interpretations for the student-faculty differences: first, as symptoms of a generational divide as well as the pronounced liberalism of university faculty; and second, as a reflection of the greater demographic diversity among contingent faculty and graduate students, with whom students most frequently interact, than among professors on the tenure-track.

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