Gender, Race, and Entrepreneurship: A Randomized Field Experiment on Venture Capitalists and Angels
57 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2019
Date Written: August 2019
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
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