Gender, Race, and Entrepreneurship: A Randomized Field Experiment on Venture Capitalists and Angels
62 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2019 Last revised: 21 Aug 2020
Date Written: March 31, 2020
We study gender and race in high-impact entrepreneurship using a tightly controlled randomized field experiment. We sent out 80,000 pitch emails introducing promising but fictitious start-ups to 28,000 venture capitalists and angels. Each email was sent by a fictitious entrepreneur with randomly assigned gender and race. Female entrepreneurs received 9% more interested replies than males pitching identical projects and Asians received 6% more than Whites. Our results suggest that investors do not discriminate against female or Asian entrepreneurs when evaluating unsolicited pitch emails and that future research on investor biases should focus on networks and in-person interactions.
Keywords: gender, race, entrepreneurship, angel investing, venture capital, bias, audit study, correspondence study, experiment
JEL Classification: G24, J16, J71, L26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation