Working Gaps

Kevin Lewis

December 29, 2022

The determinants of Black quarterback pay in the National Football League
David Berri, Alex Farnell & Robert Simmons
Managerial and Decision Economics, forthcoming 


This paper seeks to econometrically determine differences in salary returns to attributes of quarterbacks in the National Football League (NFL), by race. We analyse salary determination of 215 White and Black quarterbacks over 2006 through 2020 with separate equations estimated for each group. Our analysis indicates that top draft pick evaluations persist into future pay setting for each group. However, there is a faster rate of decay of early draft round salary premium for Black quarterbacks. This is found to be robust across different estimations. This result is indicative of differential treatment in pay setting for Black quarterbacks.

Diversity Washing 
Andrew Baker et al.
University of Chicago Working Paper, December 2022


We provide large-sample evidence on whether U.S. publicly traded corporations opportunistically use voluntary disclosures about their commitments to employee diversity. We document significant discrepancies between companies' disclosed commitments and their hiring practices and classify firms that discuss diversity more than their actual employee gender and racial diversity warrants as “diversity washers." We find diversity-washing firms obtain superior scores from environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rating organizations and attract investment from institutional investors with an ESG focus. These outcomes occur even though diversity-washing firms are more likely to incur discrimination violations and pay larger fines for these actions. Our study highlights the consequences of selective ESG disclosures on an important social dimension of employee diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Agentic but not warm: Age-gender interactions and the consequences of stereotype incongruity perceptions for middle-aged professional women 
Jennifer Chatman et al.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, November 2022


We propose that perceptions of professional women change differently than perceptions of men as they age. Drawing inspiration from intersectionality theory, we examine the interaction of age and gender, finding that professional women are seen as more agentic, but also maximally incongruent with the gender-intensified prescription of being communal, in middle age. Our experiment showed that middle-aged women were perceived as agentic, like men, but also as declining more in warmth between young adulthood and middle age. Our field study also showed that middle-aged professional women are viewed as similarly agentic but less warm than men. Our longitudinal within-person study showed that these perceptions have consequences: Unlike men, middle-aged women (professors) received lower performance evaluations compared to their younger selves. Further, a linguistic analysis showed that middle-aged women professors were acknowledged to be more agentic, but also criticized for violating communal stereotype prescriptions, which mediated the link between age and women’s, but not men’s, performance evaluations.

The missing middle: Asian employees’ experience of workplace discrimination and pro-black allyship
Sora Jun, Taylor Phillips & Olivia Anne Foster-Gimbel
Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming


Asian employees occupy an intermediate status in the U.S. racial hierarchy between White and Black employees. Given this intermediate position, it is unclear whether and how Asian employees’ own racial experience at work will affect their willingness to take action against racism toward other groups. In the current research, we examine how Asian employees’ experiences of racism impact their propensity to combat racism against Black coworkers. Across four studies including a qualitative survey (Pilot), a time-lagged quantitative survey (Study 1), a preregistered experiment (Study 2), and a conceptual replication experiment (Study 3), we find that Asian employees who experience more racial discrimination at work feel more similar to Black individuals, which is subsequently associated with greater allyship toward Black coworkers. We find that this relationship is heightened among Asian employees who have stronger zero-sum beliefs (Study 1). Importantly, we further find that processes that lead to allyship among Asian employees differ among White employees (Studies 2–3): In contrast to Asian employees, White employees who perceive more anti-in-group workplace discrimination feel less similar to Black individuals, which is associated with diminished pro-Black allyship. By examining the poorly understood racial experiences of Asian employees, and uncovering mechanisms that propel Asian employees to engage in intergroup allyship, we provide a more complete picture of racism in the workplace.

How different are minority managers from White managers in the mutual fund industry?
Frederick Dewald & Zaifeng Fan
Economics Letters, December 2022


This study investigates manager characteristics and performance differences between minority (Asian, Black, Hispanic Latino) and White managers in the mutual fund industry. We find that racial representation varies dramatically among different types of funds. While we demonstrate systematic differences in manager- and fund-level characteristics between minority and White managers, we find that minority managers have higher fund flows and no significant difference in fund returns. The findings suggest that diversity variation in the mutual fund industry is unlikely due to performance differences.

Funding Black High-Growth Startups
Lisa Cook, Matt Marx & Emmanuel Yimfor
NBER Working Paper, November 2022 


We analyze determinants of access to venture capital for Black founders of high-growth startups. We combine image- and name-processing algorithms with clerical review to identify race for over 100,000 startup founders “at risk” for venture funding. Black founders raise roughly one-third as much venture capital in the five years after founding vs. other startups formed in the same year, industry, and state. What explains the gap? We attribute about a third of the gap to four factors: Black startups have smaller founding teams; Black founders are less likely to have worked at the same companies or attended the same schools as investors who fund startups in the same industry and geography; Black startups are less likely to be located in geographies with plentiful venture capital, and Black startups are less likely to have a patent. We then bound our estimates of the funding gap and show that, to explain the gap, omitted variables would have to be nearly four times as important as the variables we fix. The funding gap is not statistically different from zero in later funding stages (post Series B), suggesting that some investors initially hold — but later amend — incorrect beliefs about Black-founded startups. We also exploit the hiring of Black partners and show that they are more likely to fund successful Black startups, consistent with segmented networks.

Job Market Signaling through Occupational Licensing
Peter Blair & Bobby Chung
Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming


Among men, the black-white wage gap is as large today as it was in 1950. We test whether the black-white wage gap is due to asymmetric information using newly collected data on occupational licensing laws that ban workers with criminal records. We find evidence supporting this hypothesis. The licensing premiums for black men are largest in licensed occupations that restrict felons — particularly in states with Ban-the-Box laws and at small firms. In these contexts where a worker's criminal history is difficult to infer, we find that occupational licensing reduces asymmetric information and reduces the racial wage gap.

Effects of Test-Optional Admissions on Underrepresented Minority Enrollment and Graduation
Trevor Osaki
University of California Working Paper, November 2022


A growing number of colleges and universities have made the submission of college entrance exam scores optional for undergraduate admissions to bolster racial diversity. This study uses a panel of liberal arts colleges from IPEDS and applies a two-way fixed effects approach to determine whether the policy is effective at achieving this goal. It also estimates the impact of the policy on the graduation rates for underrepresented minority (URM) students. It finds that the policy bolsters freshman URM enrollment among test-optional institutions throughout the sample as a whole, regardless of admissions selectivity and early versus late treatment timing. The effects of this policy on the URM 4-year and 6-year graduation rates are heterogeneous across colleges by their selectivity in admissions. While the most selective colleges in the panel experience no change in URM graduation rates, less-selective colleges experience declines in these graduation rates.

Reject and Resubmit: A Formal Analysis of Gender Differences in Reapplication and Their Contribution to Women’s Presence in Talent Pipelines 
Isabel Fernandez-Mateo, Brian Rubineau & Venkat Kuppuswamy
Organization Science, forthcoming


A common explanation for women’s underrepresentation in many economic contexts is that women exit talent pipelines at higher rates than men. Recent empirical findings reveal that, in male-dominated selection contexts, women are less likely than men to reapply after being rejected for an opportunity. We examine the conditions under which this gender difference contributes to women’s underrepresentation in talent pipelines over time. We formally model and analyze the population dynamics of a generic selection context, which we then ground using three distinct empirical settings. We show that gender differences in reapplication are an important mechanism of gender segregation in some selection contexts but negligible in others. The extent to which gender differences in reapplication contribute to women’s underrepresentation is driven in part by the rejection rate. Higher rejection rates increase the stock of rejected applicants, which in turn enables gender differences in reapplication to disproportionally reduce women’s representation. The results demonstrate that interactions between individuals’ choices on the supply side and screeners’ behavior on the demand side may have consequences for gender inequality, even if we were able to fully eliminate demand-side biases. We discuss the theoretical and policy implications of our research for understanding women’s underrepresentation in talent pipelines. We also interrogate the effectiveness of common interventions focused on encouraging women to apply for opportunities in male-dominated domains.

Putting A Fresh Face Forward: Does the Gender of a Police Chief Affect Public Perceptions?
Laura Huber & Anna Gunderson
Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming 


As the public, policymakers, and scholars increasingly call for police reform, one commonly proposed solution is to increase the number of female officers and leaders under the assumption that female police will be perceived as more trustworthy, less violent, and more effective at addressing gendered crimes. Using a survey experiment, we explore whether there is a link between passive representation in police leadership and civilians’ perceptions of substantive representation by the police. We argue that due to feminine stereotypes and role congruity theory, female police chiefs should be perceived as more effective at addressing gendered crimes, corruption, police brutality, and community relations, but be evaluated as less competent on addressing violent crimes. We find that female police chiefs are considered to be more competent at handling gendered crimes (with little relationship with non-gendered crimes), and are viewed as more able to address corruption, police brutality, and community relations. Female police chiefs are also more likely to receive higher levels of overall support. We emphasize that our study points to the importance of passive representation within police leadership, but caution that increasing women’s representation may be a necessary, but not sufficient condition to improve relations between the public and the police.

Anticipated Gender Discrimination and Grade Disclosure
Louis-Pierre Lepage, Xiaomeng Li & Basit Zafar
NBER Working Paper, December 2022


We study a unique grading policy at a large US public university allowing students to mask their letter grades into a “Pass”, after having observed their original grade. Using administrative transcript records, we find that female students are substantially less likely to mask their grades than male students, even after accounting for differences in grades, GPA, and course/major taking. We present a framework showing how anticipated discrimination in the labor market can distort incentives to mask across gender. Consistent with the framework, a survey reveals that students anticipate that female students, particularly in STEM, Business, and Economics, will face labor market discrimination which makes them less likely to mask. Our survey allows us to distinguish between anticipated discrimination and other explanations which could contribute to the masking gap, such as preferences for risk or transparency. We find that anticipated discrimination can explain a sizable fraction of the gender gap in masking.

A closer look at disparities in earnings between white and minoritized dentists 
Kamyar Nasseh, Bianca Frogner & Marko Vujicic
Health Services Research, forthcoming 

Data Sources: We used data from the American Dental Association's Survey of dental practice, which includes information on 2001–2018 dentist net income, practice ZIP code, patient mix between private and public insurance, and dentist gender, age, and year of dental school graduation. We merged the data on dentist race and ethnicity and school of graduation from the American Dental Association masterfile. Based on practice ZIP code, we also merged the data on local area racial and ethnic composition from the American Community Survey.

Study Design: We used a linear Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition to assess observable characteristics that explain the gap in earnings between White and minoritized dentists. To assess differences in earnings between White and minoritized dentists at different points of the income distribution, we used a re-centered influence function and estimated an unconditional quantile Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition.

Data Extraction Methods: We extracted data for 22,086 dentists ages 25–85 who worked at least 8 weeks per year and 20 hours per week.

Principal Findings: Observable characteristics accounted for 58% of the earnings gap between White and Asian dentists, 55% of the gap between White and Hispanic dentists, and 31% of the gap between White and Black dentists. The gap in earnings between White and Asian dentists narrowed at higher quantiles of the income distribution.


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