Them too

Kevin Lewis

January 31, 2019

Who Loses When a Team Wins? Better Performance Increases Racial Bias
Letian Zhang
Organization Science, forthcoming


Although it is well known that team performance influences strategic decision making, little is known about its impact on ascriptive inequality. This study proposes a performance effect on racial bias: higher team performance reduces managers’ performance pressure and therefore, leads to more managerial bias in the subsequent decisions. I find strong evidence for this proposition using a fine-grained data set from the National Basketball Association. In this highly competitive industry, team performance is positively associated with coaches’ subsequent exercise of racial bias: players experience more favorable treatment from same-race coaches after their teams win games. This study shows an important relationship between performance feedback and racial bias and suggests that, even in highly competitive industries, managerial bias may persist in high-performing teams and organizations.

Political ideology shapes the amplification of the accomplishments of disadvantaged vs. advantaged group members
Nour Kteily et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 29 January 2019, Pages 1559-1568


Recent years have witnessed an increased public outcry in certain quarters about a perceived lack of attention given to successful members of disadvantaged groups relative to equally meritorious members of advantaged groups, exemplified by social media campaigns centered around hashtags, such as #OscarsSoWhite and #WomenAlsoKnowStuff. Focusing on political ideology, we investigate here whether individuals differentially amplify successful targets depending on whether these targets belong to disadvantaged or advantaged groups, behavior that could help alleviate or entrench group-based disparities. Study 1 examines over 500,000 tweets from over 160,000 Twitter users about 46 unambiguously successful targets varying in race (white, black) and gender (male, female): American gold medalists from the 2016 Olympics. Leveraging advances in computational social science, we identify tweeters’ political ideology, race, and gender. Tweets from political liberals were much more likely than those from conservatives to be about successful black (vs. white) and female (vs. male) gold medalists (and especially black females), controlling for tweeters’ own race and gender, and even when tweeters themselves were white or male (i.e., advantaged group members). Studies 2 and 3 provided experimental evidence that liberals are more likely than conservatives to differentially amplify successful members of disadvantaged (vs. advantaged) groups and suggested that this is driven by liberals’ heightened concern with social equality. Addressing theorizing about ideological asymmetries, we observed that political liberals are more responsible than conservatives for differential amplification. Our results highlight ideology’s polarizing power to shape even whose accomplishments we promote, and extend theorizing about behavioral manifestations of egalitarian motives.

Gender Inequality in Product Markets: When and How Status Beliefs Transfer to Products
Elise Tak, Shelley Correll & Sarah Soule
Social Forces, forthcoming


This paper develops and evaluates a theory of status belief transfer, the process by which gender status beliefs differentially affect the evaluations of products made by men and women. We conduct three online experiments to evaluate this theory. In Study 1, we gathered 50 product categories from a large online retailer and had participants rate each product’s association with femininity and masculinity. We find evidence of the pervasiveness of gender-typing in product markets. In Studies 2 and 3, we simulate male-typed and female-typed product markets (craft beer and cupcakes, respectively). In the male-typed product market, a craft beer described as produced by a woman is evaluated more negatively than the same product described as produced by a man. Consistent with our predictions, we further find that if the beer is conferred external status via an award, the evaluation of the beer made by a woman improves by a greater magnitude than the same beer made by a man. In the female-typed product market of cupcakes, the producer’s gender does not affect ratings. Together, the two studies provide evidence of an asymmetric negative bias: products made by women are disadvantaged in male-typed markets, but products made by men are not disadvantaged in female-typed markets. These studies also provide compelling evidence of status belief transfer from producers to their products. We draw out the implications of these findings and suggest ways that gender biases in product markets can be reduced.

Gender Stereotypes in Deliberation and Team Decisions
Katherine Baldiga Coffman, Clio Bryant Flikkema & Olga Shurchkov
Harvard Working Paper, January 2019


We run an experiment that features a novel task with deliberation to explore how stereotypes shape group decision-making. We find that women are less likely to be rewarded for their ideas in male-typed domains when gender is known. This is partly due to discrimination, and partly due to differences in self-promotion. External analysis of the chat data provides further insights. Though men and women do not vary in their communication styles, coders display pervasive stereotypes, associating warmth with women and competence and negativity with men. We also find that warmer participants, particularly warmer women, are under-rewarded by their groups.

Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship
Jorge Guzman & Aleksandra Kacperczyk
Columbia University Working Paper, November 2018


Using data on the entire population of businesses registered in the states of California and Massachusetts between 1995 and 2011, we decompose the well-established gender gap in entrepreneurship. We show that female-led ventures are 63 percentage points less likely than male-led ventures to obtain external funding (i.e., venture capital). However, investors’ gendered preferences can, at most, explain about 35 percent of this differential (or 22 percentage points). The most significant portion of the gap (65 percent) stems from gender differences in initial startup orientation, with women being less likely to found ventures that signal growth potential. Moreover, consistent with theories of statistical discrimination, the residual gap diminishes significantly when stronger signals of growth are available to investors for comparable female- and male-led ventures or when focal investors are more sophisticated. Finally, conditional on the reception of external funds (i.e., venture capital), women and men are equally likely to achieve exit outcomes, through IPOs or acquisitions.

Gender Bias through Recategorization of Financial Analysts
Robert Bloomfield et al.
Cornell University Working Paper, November 2018


We present 179 investment professionals with a scenario that manipulates whether a male or female analyst persists in pitching a stock pick after it has been voted down. Respondents evaluate analysts as less promotable when they do not persist, but only if the analyst is female. Results are consistent with categorization theory, which suggests evaluators shift their categorization of non-persistent women closer to the category of “woman,” and away from the category of “analyst,” while attributing the behavior of non-persistent men to contextual features. Analysis of free-response questions confirm that the unexpected behavior was a predominant focus in performance evaluations of women, while for men focus was mostly restricted to competence-related factors. Semi-structured interviews with 13 senior investment professionals provide additional support for the role of expectations and categorization heuristics on promotion decisions. Our findings shed light on factors that may contribute to the investment industry’s “leaky pipeline” for women.

Uneven Patterns of Inequality: An Audit Analysis of Hiring-Related Practices by Gendered and Classed Contexts
Jill Yavorsky
Social Forces, forthcoming


Despite women’s uneven entrances into male-dominated occupations, limited scholarship has examined whether and how employers in different occupational classes unevenly discriminate against women during early hiring practices. This article argues that intersecting gendered and classed features of occupations simultaneously shape hiring-related practices and generate uneven patterns of inequality. Using data derived from comparative white-collar (N = 3,044 résumés) and working-class (N = 3,258 résumés) correspondence audits and content-coded analyses of more than 3,000 job advertisements, the author analyzes early hiring practices among employers across two gendered occupational dimensions: (1) sex composition (male- or female-dominated jobs) and (2) gender stereotyping (masculinized or feminized jobs, based on the attributes that employers emphasize in job advertisements). Broadly, findings suggest a polarization of early sorting mechanisms in which discrimination against female applicants is concentrated in male-dominated and masculinized working-class jobs, whereas discrimination against male applicants at early job-access points is more widespread, occurring in female-dominated and feminized jobs in both white-collar and working-class contexts. Interestingly, discrimination further compounds for male and female applicants — depending on the classed context — when these occupational dimensions align in the same gendered direction (e.g., male-dominated jobs that also have masculinized job advertisements). These findings have implications for the study of gender and work inequality and indicate the importance of a multidimensional approach to hiring-related inequality.

A network’s gender composition and communication pattern predict women’s leadership success
Yang Yang, Nitesh Chawla & Brian Uzzi
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming


Many leaders today do not rise through the ranks but are recruited directly out of graduate programs into leadership positions. We use a quasi-experiment and instrumental-variable regression to understand the link between students’ graduate school social networks and placement into leadership positions of varying levels of authority. Our data measure students’ personal characteristics and academic performance, as well as their social network information drawn from 4.5 million email correspondences among hundreds of students who were placed directly into leadership positions. After controlling for students’ personal characteristics, work experience, and academic performance, we find that students’ social networks strongly predict placement into leadership positions. For males, the higher a male student’s centrality in the school-wide network, the higher his leadership-job placement will be. Men with network centrality in the top quartile have an expected job placement level that is 1.5 times greater than men in the bottom quartile of centrality. While centrality also predicts women’s placement, high-placing women students have one thing more: an inner circle of predominantly female contacts who are connected to many nonoverlapping third-party contacts. Women with a network centrality in the top quartile and a female-dominated inner circle have an expected job placement level that is 2.5 times greater than women with low centrality and a male-dominated inner circle. Women who have networks that resemble those of high-placing men are low-placing, despite having leadership qualifications comparable to high-placing women.

Blind to bias: The benefits of gender-blindness for STEM stereotyping
Ashley Martin & Katherine Phillips
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming


Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. As such, there has been an increased interest in interventions to reduce bias against, and increase inclusion of, women in STEM. In this paper, we compare and contrast two commonly used strategies: awareness and blindness. We demonstrate that gender-blindness — a diversity ideology that advocates for downplaying gender differences, rather than embracing them — has the potential to diminish stereotyping of women in STEM fields. In six total studies, we show that men who believe, or are primed with, gender-blindness (compared to gender-awareness) are less likely to endorse gender stereotypes around women's STEM competencies. By measuring (Study 1) and manipulating (Studies 2–5) gender-blindness, we show that gender-blindness (compared to awareness) minimizes the gender gap on explicit stereotyping measures, as well as diminishes STEM stereotyping in target evaluations. Across six studies, we show the influence of diversity ideologies on stereotyping of women in STEM.

Bringing Home the Bacon: The Relationships among Breadwinner Role, Performance, and Pay
Colleen Flaherty Manchester, Lisa Leslie & Patricia Dahm
Industrial Relations, January 2019, Pages 46-85


We evaluate the relationships among breadwinner role, performance, and pay. Differences in pay are present despite limited differences in performance. We find a pay premium for primary‐breadwinner employees across gender, yet a pay penalty for secondary‐breadwinners employees only for women, suggesting an asymmetric relationship among breadwinner role, gender, and pay.

Teacher Characteristics, Student Beliefs, and the Gender Gap in STEM Fields
Dario Sansone
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, forthcoming


This article uses data from the U.S. High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 to investigate the relationship between high school students’ beliefs about female abilities in math and science and their teacher gender, beliefs, and classroom behaviors. Estimates are obtained by comparing the same ninth graders between math and science classes, thus controlling for student fixed effects. Students were less likely to believe that men were better than women in math or science when assigned to female teachers or to teachers who valued and listened to ideas from their students. The empirical analysis also provides evidence suggesting that these gender beliefs were related to the decisions by female students to take advanced math and science classes in high school.

The Relationship between Race-Congruent Students and Teachers: Does Racial Discrimination Exist?
My Nguyen
LSU Working Paper, December 2018


This paper explores the role of teacher race/ethnicity in the teacher-perceived relationship with early elementary school students. Employing a model with both student and teacher fixed effects, I discover a positive link between the racial/ethnic match and the teacher-reported relationship with students. Specifically, minority students tend to have a closer and more positive relationship with their teachers than white students when they are taught by a minority teacher. Adapted rank-based tests of discrimination reveal that the favorable teacher-reported relationship with students is not prompted by teachers favoring their own kind or discriminating against opposite-race students. I show that these estimates are driven by minority students reacting positively when they have a minority teacher but adversely once assigned to a white teacher, which is consistent with the role model effect. Given the importance of the relationship between young children with non-parental adults in their early stages of life, these findings have crucial policy implications.

Support of workplace diversity policies: The role of race, gender, and beliefs about inequality
William Scarborough, Danny Lambouths & Allyson Holbrook
Social Science Research, forthcoming


Workplace diversity policies are more effective when they are supported by managers and workers, but there is little direct evidence on how people feel about these policies or why they hold certain opinions. In this study, we analyze data from a survey experiment designed to assess public opinion about a range of workplace diversity policies. We examine how support for these policies among employed respondents varies by race, gender, and by the targeted population (i.e. whether the policies aim to improve the workplace representation of women or racial minorities). Using OLS regression models to analyze a diverse sample of employed persons participating in the survey, we find that women, blacks, and Latina/os are more supportive of diversity policies than men and whites, and a substantial portion of these gender/race differences can be explained by group-differences in the belief that discrimination causes inequality. In addition, we find that respondents report lower levels of support for workplace policies when these policies are framed as a mechanism to increase diversity than when they are framed as being needed to address discrimination or if no justification is given for the policy. Our findings highlight the role of inequality beliefs in shaping worker support for diversity policies, suggesting directions for future research on how such beliefs are developed.

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