Implicit Discrimination and the Promotion Gap

46 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2021

See all articles by Daniel Ferreira

Daniel Ferreira

London School of Economics - Department of Finance; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Elena Pikulina

Finance Division, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia (UBC)

Date Written: November 19, 2021

Abstract

We develop a model of implicitly biased decision-making in competitive promotions. In our model, a decision-maker needs to choose who to promote to a top position. The decision-maker always prefers a skilled agent over an unskilled one but is biased in favour of agents from a certain group when choosing among identical agents. The bias is implicit in the sense of having no direct payoff consequences for the decision-maker, and thus being imperceptible to a decision-maker who is initially unaware of it. As agents compete with each other in a promotion contest, their strategic behavior can either exacerbate or attenuate the initial decision-maker's bias. Our model shows even small biases can translate into substantial differences in promotion outcomes between groups.

Keywords: Gender gap, promotion, performance evaluation, glass ceiling, leaking pipe, gender bias, wage gap, wage differential

JEL Classification: M51,J71, J31

Suggested Citation

Ferreira, Daniel and Pikulina, Elena, Implicit Discrimination and the Promotion Gap (November 19, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3966838 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3966838

Daniel Ferreira

London School of Economics - Department of Finance ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
(+44) 20 7955 7544 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/FERREIRD/

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Elena Pikulina (Contact Author)

Finance Division, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )

2053 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Canada
6048223314 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://epikulina.com

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
59
Abstract Views
231
rank
461,388
PlumX Metrics