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

See all articles by Manuel Bagues

Manuel Bagues

Aalto University - Department of Economics

Berta Esteve-Volart

York University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 2009

Abstract

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

Bagues, Manuel F. and Esteve-Volart, Berta, Can Gender Parity Break the Glass Ceiling? Evidence from a Repeated Randomized Experiment (July 2009). Fundación de Economía Aplicada Working Paper No. 2007/15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1026211 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1026211

Manuel F. Bagues (Contact Author)

Aalto University - Department of Economics ( email )

PO Box 1210
FI-00101 Helsinki
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://www.manuelbagues.com

Berta Esteve-Volart

York University - Department of Economics ( email )

4700 Keele St.
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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