Agency and Workplace Diversity: Evidence from a Two-Sided Audit
64 Pages Posted: 21 May 2020
Date Written: April 25, 2020
Whose preferences drive labor market sorting? We introduce a novel field experimental paradigm (a "two-sided audit") to strengthen resume audit methodology. We then deploy the design to examine the role of worker preferences, employer preferences and intermediaries in labor market sorting. We find evidence for candidate preferences influencing call-back rates, particularly for gender segregation across jobs. These effects are dampened by career concerns of intermediaries, which cause them to put more weight on manager preferences in the hiring process. This leads to the phenomenon of "over-interviewing," whereby elite college graduates and big company alumni are more likely to receive interview offers despite their lower probability of accepting offers. We conclude by discussing the policy implications of our findings and the strengths, limitations, and future applications of our audit methodology.
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