Yellin' at Yellen: Gender Bias in the Federal Reserve Congressional Hearings

37 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2022

See all articles by James Bisbee

James Bisbee

New York University (NYU) - Department of Politics

Nicolò Fraccaroli

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Andreas Kern

Georgetown University - McCourt School of Public Policy

Date Written: February 8, 2022

Abstract

How prevalent is gender bias among U.S. politicians? We analyze the transcripts of every congressional hearing attended by the chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve from 2001 to 2020 to provide a carefully identified effect of sexism, using Janet Yellen as a bundled treatment. We find that legislators who interacted with both Yellen and at least one other male Fed chair over this period interrupt Yellen more, and interact with her using more aggressive tones. Furthermore, we show that the increase in hostility experienced by Yellen relative to her immediate predecessor and successor are absent among those legislators with daughters. Our results point to the important role of societal biases bleeding into seemingly unrelated policy domains, underscoring the vulnerability of democratic accountability and oversight mechanisms to existing gender norms and societal biases.

Keywords: Gender Bias, Federal Reserve, Congress, Natural Language Processing.

JEL Classification: E50, E58, J16, J18, P16, D72.

Suggested Citation

Bisbee, James and Fraccaroli, Nicolò and Kern, Andreas, Yellin' at Yellen: Gender Bias in the Federal Reserve Congressional Hearings (February 8, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4030121 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4030121

James Bisbee

New York University (NYU) - Department of Politics ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Nicolò Fraccaroli (Contact Author)

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs ( email )

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://watson.brown.edu/rhodes/people/nicol-fraccaroli

Andreas Kern

Georgetown University - McCourt School of Public Policy ( email )

37 and O Streets, NW
Old North, Suite 413
Washington, DC 20057
United States

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