More Women in Tech? Evidence from a Field Experiment Addressing Social Identity

52 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2018 Last revised: 22 Oct 2018

See all articles by Lucia Del Carpio

Lucia Del Carpio

INSEAD

Maria Guadalupe

INSEAD - Economics and Political Sciences; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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Date Written: October 2018

Abstract

This paper investigates whether social identity considerations-through beliefs and norms- drive women's occupational choices. We implement two field experiments with potential applicants to a five-month software-coding program offered to women from low-income backgrounds in Peru and Mexico. When we correct the perception that women cannot succeed in technology by providing role models, information on returns and access to a female network, application rates double and the self-selection patterns change. Analysis of those patterns suggests that identity considerations act as barriers to entering the technology sector and that some high-cognitive skill women do not apply because of their high identity costs.

JEL Classification: D91, J16, J24

Suggested Citation

Del Carpio, Lucia and Guadalupe, Maria, More Women in Tech? Evidence from a Field Experiment Addressing Social Identity (October 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13234, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3266427

Maria Guadalupe

INSEAD - Economics and Political Sciences ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
F-77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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