Not a white male

Kevin Lewis

January 05, 2017

Racial Inequality in Democratic Accountability: Evidence from Retrospective Voting in Local Elections

Patrick Flavin & Michael Hartney

American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

One important and, to date, overlooked component of democratic accountability is the extent to which it might exacerbate existing societal inequalities if the outcomes for some groups of citizens are prioritized over others when voters evaluate governmental performance. We analyze a decade of California school board elections and find evidence that voters reward or punish incumbent board members based on the achievement of white students in their district, whereas outcomes for African American and Hispanic students receive comparatively little attention. We then examine public opinion data on the racial education achievement gap and report results from an original list experiment of California school board members that finds approximately 40% of incumbents detect no electoral pressure to address poor academic outcomes among racial minority students. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for several scholarly literatures, including retrospective voting, racial inequality in political influence, intergovernmental policymaking, and education politics.


Be an advocate for others, unless you are a man: Backlash against gender-atypical male job candidates

Janine Bosak et al.

Psychology of Men & Masculinity, forthcoming

Previous research shows that gender vanguards (individuals who demonstrate gender-atypical skills and behavior) suffer backlash in the form of social and economic penalties (Rudman & Phelan, 2008). This study examined backlash against female and male job applicants who were either gender-atypical or typical. Professionals (N = 149) evaluated female or male managerial applicants for internal promotion described in their performance review as showing either self-advocacy or advocacy on behalf of their team. Atypical, other-advocating men were judged to be low on agency and competence and penalized with job dismissal. Serial mediation analysis demonstrated that, compared with other-advocating women, other-advocating men were perceived to lack agency, which contributed to a perceived loss of competence that ultimately led to greater penalties. The implications of these findings for contemporary leadership theories and men’s and women’s professional success in the workplace are discussed.


The Boundaries of Latino Sport Leadership: How Skin Tone, Ethnicity, and Nationality Construct Baseball's Color Line

Jen McGovern

Sociological Inquiry, forthcoming

Ethnoracial minorities constitute a sizeable percentage of the U.S. labor force, but are underrepresented in top management positions. Research examining the leadership gap focuses primarily on blacks and whites without giving ample attention to Latinos, whose experiences differ greatly based on phenotype, birthplace, and citizenship. This research uses an intersectional approach to examine how these categories overlap to influence Latino leadership in Major League Baseball. Using records data and descriptive statistics, the study shows that skin color and nationality influence leadership opportunities more than ethnicity does. Americans from all ethnoracial groups are more likely to lead than foreign-born individuals. Regardless of ethnicity, white and light-skinned individuals are more likely to be pitchers, catchers, managers, coaches, and broadcasters while dark-skinned people are underrepresented in those roles. The data indicate that American-born and light-skinned Latinos have experiences similar to their white counterparts while foreign-born and dark-skinned Latinos merge into collective blackness. This hierarchal structure reinforces historical racialized meanings about race and points toward a racial classification system where individuals will be sorted based on multiple, overlapping categories.


Leaning Out: How Negative Recruitment Experiences Shape Women’s Decisions to Compete for Executive Roles

Raina Brands & Isabel Fernandez-Mateo

Administrative Science Quarterly, forthcoming

This paper proposes that gender differences in responses to recruitment rejections contribute to women’s underrepresentation in top management. We theorize and show that women are less likely than men to consider another job with a prospective employer that has rejected them in the past. Because of women’s status as a negatively stereotyped minority in senior roles, recruitment rejection triggers uncertainty about their general belonging in the executive domain, which in turn leads women to place greater weight than men on fair treatment and negatively affects their perceptions of the fairness of the treatment they receive. This dual process makes women less inclined than men to apply again to a firm that has rejected them. We test our theory with three studies: a field study using longitudinal archival data from an executive search firm, a survey of executives, and an experiment using executive respondents testing the effects of rejection on willingness to apply to a firm for another position. The results have implications for theory and practice regarding gender inequality at the labor market’s upper echelons, highlighting that women’s supply-side decisions to “lean out” of competition for senior roles must be understood in light of their previous experiences with employers’ demand-side practices. Given the sequential nature of executive selection processes, rejection-driven differences in the willingness to compete in a given round would affect the proportion of available women in subsequent selection rounds, contributing to a cumulative gender disadvantage and thus possibly increasing gender inequality over time.


Breadwinner Bonus and Caregiver Penalty in Workplace Rewards for Men and Women

Julia Bear & Peter Glick

Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Two studies examine whether the workplace motherhood penalty and fatherhood bonus are better conceived, respectively, as a caregiver penalty and breadwinner bonus. Participants acting as employers structured offers for married female or male job candidates with children. In Study 1, participants assumed “mother = caregiver” and “father = breadwinner.” These assumptions moderated significantly higher salary offers to fathers and more (explicitly career-dampening) flexible schedules to mothers. Study 2 manipulated family roles (nonparent, parent-unspecified role, parent-breadwinner, and parent-caregiver). Supporting a breadwinner bonus, the female candidate fared best in salary and leadership training offers when labeled a breadwinner (vs. caregiver and unspecified role), equaling a male breadwinner’s offer. A caregiver penalty decreased salary for caregivers of both sexes and leadership training for women (compared to breadwinners) but not men. Thus, the motherhood penalty can become a breadwinner bonus if mothers present themselves as family breadwinners.


Gender Differences in Accepting and Receiving Requests for Tasks with Low Promotability

Linda Babcock et al.

American Economic Review, forthcoming

Gender differences in task allocations may sustain vertical gender segregation in labor markets. We examine the allocation of a task that everyone prefers be completed by someone else (writing a report, serving on a committee, etc.) and find evidence that women more than men volunteer, are asked to volunteer, and accept requests to volunteer for such tasks. Beliefs that women, more than men, say yes to tasks with low promotability appear as an important driver of these differences. If women hold tasks that are less promotable than those held by men, then women will progress more slowly in organizations.


The Impact of Paid Leave on Female Employment Outcomes

Natasha Sarin

Harvard Working Paper, November 2016

This paper provides evidence on the impact of paid leave legislation on female employment outcomes. Using a difference-in-differences and difference-in-difference-in-differences strategy, I study the impact of two state-level programs in California and New Jersey. This paper is first to exploit the fact that the cost of paid leave in these states is larger for firms with 50 or more employees (who are forced to offer job protection under the federal FMLA) than for firms with 49 or fewer employees. Comparing firms above and below this cutoff, I estimate that paid leave with job protection reduces female hiring by around 1.15 percent in large firms compared to small firms where leaves are unprotected. Women of child-bearing age are most negatively impacted (hiring falls by around 2 percent), as are female employees in industries that are relatively less human capital intensive, like utilities and accommodation and food services.


Predicting First-year Law School Performance: The Influences of Race, Gender, and Undergraduate Major

John Fordyce, Lisa Jepsen & Ken McCormick

Eastern Economic Journal, January 2017, Pages 64–77

We use regression analysis and proprietary data from three top 30 law schools to test the relationships of race, gender, and undergraduate major to first-year law school performance, as measured by law school grade point average at the end of the first year. We conclude that, all else equal: (1) Non-white students perform worse than white students, (2) Women on average do as well as men, though non-white women do worse than both white and non-white men, and (3) For the most part, undergraduate major has no relationship to first-year law school performance.


Laboratory Evidence on the Effects of Sponsorship on the Competitive Preferences of Men and Women

Nancy Baldiga & Katherine Coffman

Management Science, forthcoming

Sponsorship programs have been proposed as one way to promote female advancement in competitive career fields. A sponsor is someone who advocates for a protégé, and in doing so, takes a stake in her success. We use a laboratory experiment to explore two channels through which sponsorship has been posited to increase advancement in a competitive workplace. In our setting, being sponsored provides a vote of confidence and/or creates a link between the protégé’s and sponsor’s payoffs. We find that both features of sponsorship significantly increase willingness to compete among men on average, while neither of these channels significantly increases willingness to compete among women on average. As a result, sponsorship does not close the gender gap in competitiveness or earnings. We discuss how these insights from the laboratory could help to inform the design of sponsorship programs in the field.


The effects of implicit gender role theories on gender system justification: Fixed beliefs strengthen masculinity to preserve the status quo

Laura Kray et al.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, January 2017, Pages 98-115

Four studies (n = 1199) tested support for the idea that implicit theories about the fixedness versus malleability of gender roles (entity vs. incremental theories) predict differences in the degree of gender system justification, that is, support for the status quo in relations between women and men in society. Relative to an incremental theory, the holding of an entity theory correlated with more system-justifying attitudes and self-perceptions (Study 1) for men and women alike. We also found that strength of identification with one’s gender in-group was a stronger predictor of system justification for men than it was for women, suggesting men’s defense of the status quo may be motivated by their membership in a high status group in the social hierarchy. In 3 experiments, we then tested whether exposure to a fixed gender role theory would lead men to identify more with masculine characteristics and their male gender group, thus increasing their defense of the gender system as fair and just. We did not expect a fixed gender role theory to trigger these identity-motivated responses in women. Overall, we found that, by increasing the degree of psychological investment in their masculine identity, adopting a fixed gender role theory increased men’s rationalization of the gender status quo compared with when gender roles were perceived to be changeable. This suggests that, when men are motivated to align with their masculine identity, they are more likely to endorse the persistence of gender inequality as a way of affirming their status as “real men.”


Informal Training Experiences and Explicit Bias against African Americans among Medical Students

Sara Burke et al.

Social Psychology Quarterly, forthcoming

Despite the widespread inclusion of diversity-related curricula in U.S. medical training, racial disparities in the quality of care and physician bias in medical treatment persist. The present study examined the effects of both formal and informal experiences on non-African American medical students’ (N = 2,922) attitudes toward African Americans in a longitudinal study of 49 randomly selected U.S. medical schools. We assessed the effects of experiences related to medical training, accounting for prior experiences and attitudes. Contact with African Americans predicted positive attitudes toward African Americans relative to white people, even beyond the effects of prior attitudes. Furthermore, students who reported having witnessed instructors make negative racial comments or jokes were significantly more willing to express racial bias themselves, even after accounting for the effects of contact. Examining the effects of informal experiences on racial attitudes may help develop a more effective medical training environment and reduce racial disparities in healthcare.


Negotiating Femininity: Gender-Relevant Primes Improve Women’s Economic Performance in Gender Role Incongruent Negotiations

Julia Bear & Linda Babcock

Psychology of Women Quarterly, forthcoming

According to gender role congruity theory, women, compared to men, underperform in masculine negotiations because these negotiations are incongruent with women’s gender role. Based on this framework, we developed two gender-relevant primes — a masculine-supplement prime and a feminine-complement prime — that address role incongruity and should improve women’s economic performance by either supplementing masculinity or complementing femininity. In Study 1, physicians (N = 78; 50% women) in an executive education program engaged in a masculine-supplement prime, which involved recalling agentic behavior; in Study 2, undergraduate students (N = 112; 50% women) completed a feminine-complement prime, which involved imagining negotiating for a friend. In Study 3, a community sample (N = 996; 46% women) completed an online experiment with the primes. Results from the three studies showed that these primes improved women’s economic performance and eliminated the gender gap in negotiation. Perception of fit partially explained the efficacy of the masculine-supplement prime for women, though not the feminine-complement prime. We build on past research concerning situational moderators by investigating gender role congruity from an intrapsychic perspective. We also make a practical contribution; these primes can be used by women to improve economic performance in gender role incongruent negotiations.


Sex Differences in Cortisol's Regulation of Affiliative Behavior

Gary Sherman et al.

Hormones and Behavior, forthcoming

A stress perspective is used to illuminate how competitive defeat and victory shape biology and behavior. We report on a field study examining how change in cortisol following perceived defeat (vs. victory) in a competition — in this case, a dog agility competition — relates to affiliative behavior. Following competition, we measured cortisol change and the extent to which dog handlers directed affiliative behaviors toward their dogs. We found striking sex differences in affiliation. First, men were more affiliative toward their dogs after victory, whereas women were more affiliative after defeat. Second, the greater a female competitor's increase in cortisol, the more time she spent affiliating with her dog, whereas for men, the pattern was the exact opposite: the greater a male competitor's increase in cortisol, the less time he spent affiliating with his dog. This pattern suggests that, in the wake of competition, men and women's affiliative behavior may serve different functions — shared celebration for men; shared consolation for women. These sex differences show not only that men and women react very differently to victory and defeat, but also that equivalent changes in cortisol across the sexes are associated with strikingly different behavioral consequences for men and women.


Post-Executive Order 13583: A Reexamination of Occupational Barriers in Federal Law Enforcement

Helen Yu

Women & Criminal Justice, forthcoming

This study examined occupational barriers in federal law enforcement between 2011 and 2015, replicating research conducted prior to the passage of Executive Order 13583. Qualitative and quantitative data were generated from surveys collected from 101 sworn female federal law enforcement officers on the challenges they face in the work environment. With little progress to gender equity, findings revealed that male colleagues’ resistance to women in federal policing and the perceived lack of promotions has increased, while work–life balance policies and sexual discrimination continue to be a challenge. Policy implications for improving organizational practices are discussed.

to your National Affairs subscriber account.

Already a subscriber? Activate your account.


Unlimited access to intelligent essays on the nation’s affairs.

Subscribe to National Affairs.