References (93)



An Empirical Analysis of Judging Bias by Sex, Region & Side

Clifford Chad Henson

Skiermont Derby LLP; Texas A&M School of Law; Property & Environment Research Center

Paul R. Dorasil

University of Florida

July 7, 2011

Conventional wisdom among those involved in competitive academic debate holds that, despite an emphasis on objective decision-making, factors other than skill affect the outcomes of rounds. This study examines all debate rounds at the Lincoln Douglas Debate Tournament of Champions from 2004-2009. We estimate predictions of round outcomes based on transitivity and the outcomes of other rounds observed in the tournament in order to evaluate the potential for bias and control for the relative skill of debaters. We develop a binomial choice model to estimate the marginal effects of various biases. In particular, we find statistical evidence of bias related to regional affiliation and topic side. These factors may explain the significant number of non-transitive outcomes in the data. Finally, we suggest some policy remedies to mitigate the impact of biases and further applications of our methodology.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: debate, discrimination, bias, sex, judging, education

JEL Classification: I21, J16, J71, L83

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Date posted: February 25, 2011 ; Last revised: July 9, 2011

Suggested Citation

Henson, Clifford Chad and Dorasil, Paul R., An Empirical Analysis of Judging Bias by Sex, Region & Side (July 7, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1768087 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1768087

Contact Information

Clifford Chad Henson (Contact Author)
Skiermont Derby LLP ( email )
2200 Ross Avenue
Suite 4800W
Dallas, TX 75201
United States
2149786600 (Phone)
2149786601 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.skiermontderby.com/
Texas A&M School of Law
1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States

Property & Environment Research Center ( email )
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Paul R. Dorasil
University of Florida ( email )
Gainesville, FL 32611-7140
United States
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References:  93