Gender, Race, and Entrepreneurship: A Randomized Field Experiment on Venture Capitalists and Angels

57 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2019

See all articles by Will Gornall

Will Gornall

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business

Ilya A. Strebulaev

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research

Date Written: August 2019

Abstract

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 a randomly selected gender (male or female) and race (Asian or White). Female entrepreneurs received a 9% higher rate of interested replies than male entrepreneurs pitching identical projects and Asian entrepreneurs received a 6% higher rate than their White counterparts. Our results suggest that investors do not discriminate against female or Asian entrepreneurs when evaluating unsolicited pitch emails.

Keywords: gender, race, entrepreneurship, angel investing, venture capital, bias

JEL Classification: G24, J16, J71, L26

Suggested Citation

Gornall, Will and Strebulaev, Ilya A., Gender, Race, and Entrepreneurship: A Randomized Field Experiment on Venture Capitalists and Angels (August 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3301982 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3301982

Will Gornall (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business ( email )

2053 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Canada

Ilya A. Strebulaev

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty-gsb.stanford.edu/strebulaev/

National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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