Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2063742
 


 



What Happens Before? A Field Experiment Exploring How Pay and Representation Differentially Shape Bias on the Pathway into Organizations


Katherine L. Milkman


University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Modupe Akinola


Columbia University - Columbia Business School

Dolly Chugh


New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior

July 11, 2014


Abstract:     
Little is known about how discrimination against women and minorities manifests before individuals formally apply to organizations or how it varies within and between organizations. We address this knowledge gap through an audit study in academia of over 6,500 professors at top U.S. universities drawn from 89 disciplines and 259 institutions. We hypothesized that discrimination would appear at the informal “pathway” preceding entry to academia and would vary by discipline and university as a function of faculty representation and pay. In our experiment, professors were contacted by fictional prospective students seeking to discuss research opportunities before applying to a doctoral program. Students’ names were randomly assigned to signal gender and race, but messages were otherwise identical. Faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from Caucasian males, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions. Counterintuitively, the representation of women and minorities and discrimination were uncorrelated.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 61

Keywords: discrimination, race, gender, academia, field experiment, audit study

JEL Classification: D03, J71, I20

working papers series





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Date posted: May 22, 2012 ; Last revised: July 12, 2014

Suggested Citation

Milkman, Katherine L. and Akinola, Modupe and Chugh, Dolly, What Happens Before? A Field Experiment Exploring How Pay and Representation Differentially Shape Bias on the Pathway into Organizations (July 11, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2063742 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2063742

Contact Information

Katherine L. Milkman (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Modupe Akinola
Columbia University - Columbia Business School ( email )
3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States
Dolly Chugh
New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States
New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior ( email )
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States
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