Does Gender Matter for Academic Promotion? Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment
Fedea working paper #2010-15
53 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2010 Last revised: 21 Jun 2014
Date Written: May 26, 2010
This paper studies how the gender composition of committees affects promotions. We exploit evidence from a large-scale randomized natural experiment: the system of centralized examinations to determine academic promotions that was implemented in Spain between 2002 and 2006. These competitions involved around 30,000 candidacies and 7,000 (randomly selected) evaluators. In exams to full professor positions, we find that evaluators tend to favor same-sex candidates who belong to their own academic network. This evidence is consistent with the existence of "old boys" and "old girls" networks. In exams to associate professor positions, senior evaluators do not exhibit any gender preference. Female junior evaluators exhibit an opposite-sex preference when assessing candidates from their own institution, perhaps for strategic reasons. Our results suggest that gender quotas may not necessarily increase female representation. Their effect will depend on the extent to which academic networks are gendered, evaluators' strategic concerns, and the position at stake.
Keywords: Academic Promotion, Gender Discrimination, Randomized Natural Experiment
JEL Classification: J71, J45
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation