Can Gender Parity Break the Glass Ceiling? Evidence from a Repeated Randomized Experiment
Fundación de Economía Aplicada Working Paper No. 2007/15
49 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2007 Last revised: 16 Sep 2009
Date Written: July 2009
This paper studies whether the gender composition of recruiting committees matters. We make use of the exceptional evidence provided by Spanish public examinations, where the allocation of candidates to evaluating committees is random. We analyze how the chances of success of 150,000 female and male candidates to the four main Corps of the Spanish Judiciary over 1987-2006 were affected by the gender of their evaluators. We find that a female (male) candidate is significantly less likely to pass the exam whenever she is randomly assigned to a committee where the share of female (male) evaluators is relatively greater. Evidence from multiple choice tests suggests that this is due to the fact that female majority committees overestimate the quality of male candidates.
Keywords: gender discrimination, randomized experiment, public examinations
JEL Classification: J71, J78
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation