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

38 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 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: December 15, 2018

Abstract

We study gender and race in high-impact entrepreneurship within a tightly controlled random
field experiment. We sent out 80,000 pitch emails introducing promising but fictitious start-ups to
28,000 venture capitalists and business 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 an 8% higher rate of interested replies than male entrepreneurs pitching identical projects.
Asian entrepreneurs received a 6% higher rate than White entrepreneurs. Our results are not
consistent with discrimination against females or Asians at the initial contact stage of the investment
process.

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 (December 15, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract= 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

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
542
Abstract Views
4,639
rank
74,948
PlumX Metrics