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Kevin Lewis

July 13, 2017

The Colorblind Crowd? Founder Race and Performance in Crowdfunding
Peter Younkin & Venkat Kuppuswamy
Management Science, forthcoming


The dearth of minority entrepreneurs has received increasing media attention but few academic analyses. In particular, the funding process creates challenges for either audit or correspondence methods, making it difficult to assess the role, or type, of discrimination influencing resource providers. We use a novel approach that combines analyses of 7,617 crowdfunding projects with an experimental design to identify whether African American men are discriminated against and whether this reflects statistical, taste-based, or unconscious bias on the part of prospective supporters. We find that African American men are significantly less likely than similar white founders to receive funding and that prospective supporters rate identical projects as lower in quality when they believe the founder is an African American male. We conclude that the reduction in perceived quality does not reflect conscious assumptions of differences in founder ability or disamenity but rather an unconscious assumption that black founders are lower quality. In two additional experiments, we identify three means of reducing this bias: through additional evidence of quality via third-party endorsements (i.e., awards, evidence of prior support), through evidence that African American founders have succeeded previously, and by removing indicators of the founder’s race. 

High School Genetic Diversity and Later-life Student Outcomes: Micro-level Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study
Justin Cook & Jason Fletcher
NBER Working Paper, June 2017


A novel hypothesis posits that levels of genetic diversity in a population may partially explain variation in the development and success of countries. Our paper extends evidence on this novel question by subjecting the hypothesis to an alternative context that eliminates many alternative hypotheses by aggregating representative data to the high school level from a single state (Wisconsin) in 1957, when the population was composed nearly entirely of individuals of European ancestry. Using this sample of high school aggregations, we too find a strong effect of genetic diversity on socioeconomic outcomes. Additionally, we check an existing mechanism and propose a new potential mechanism of the results for innovation: personality traits associated with creativity and divergent thinking.

Community and Capital in Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth
Sampsa Samila & Olav Sorenson 
American Sociological Review, forthcoming


We argue that social integration — in the sense of within-community interconnectedness — and venture capital have a complementary relationship in fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. Using panel data on metropolitan areas in the United States from 1993 to 2002, our analyses reveal that racial integration — in the microgeography of residential patterns — moderates the effect of venture capital, with more ethnically-integrated places benefiting more from venture capital. We provide evidence for the underlying mechanisms by demonstrating that communities with higher levels of racial integration foster the discovery of more novel and more valuable inventions and the emergence of more ethnically-diverse entrepreneurial groups.

The One Friend Rule: Race and Social Capital in an Interracial Network
Christopher Munn 
Social Problems, forthcoming


Scholars have argued convincingly that race influences an individual’s ability to access and mobilize social capital. Since social capital is embedded in social relationships and not individuals, understanding the context of relationships is imperative for understanding how race may create barriers to socioeconomic equality. Using data from in-depth interviews with members of an intentionally interracial organization in a large Midwestern city, I investigate the influence of race on social capital. One major theme emerged: highly involved white members described their close friends of color in utilitarian terms and not integrated into daily activities outside of the interracial organization. This theme, named the “one friend rule,” is a micro-level mechanism where whites mobilize a “close” interracial tie to project a generalized value for diversity while simultaneously limiting access to personal resources. I conclude that the one friend rule is a major barrier to social capital mobilization for people of color involved in a racially diverse organization. 

Speaker Introductions at Internal Medicine Grand Rounds: Forms of Address Reveal Gender Bias
Julia Files et al.
Journal of Women's Health, May 2017, Pages 413-419

Background: Gender bias has been identified as one of the drivers of gender disparity in academic medicine. Bias may be reinforced by gender subordinating language or differential use of formality in forms of address. Professional titles may influence the perceived expertise and authority of the referenced individual. The objective of this study is to examine how professional titles were used in the same and mixed-gender speaker introductions at Internal Medicine Grand Rounds (IMGR).

Methods: A retrospective observational study of video-archived speaker introductions at consecutive IMGR was conducted at two different locations (Arizona, Minnesota) of an academic medical center. Introducers and speakers at IMGR were physician and scientist peers holding MD, PhD, or MD/PhD degrees. The primary outcome was whether or not a speaker's professional title was used during the first form of address during speaker introductions at IMGR. As secondary outcomes, we evaluated whether or not the speakers professional title was used in any form of address during the introduction.

Results: Three hundred twenty-one forms of address were analyzed. Female introducers were more likely to use professional titles when introducing any speaker during the first form of address compared with male introducers (96.2% [102/106] vs. 65.6% [141/215]; p < 0.001). Female dyads utilized formal titles during the first form of address 97.8% (45/46) compared with male dyads who utilized a formal title 72.4% (110/152) of the time (p = 0.007). In mixed-gender dyads, where the introducer was female and speaker male, formal titles were used 95.0% (57/60) of the time. Male introducers of female speakers utilized professional titles 49.2% (31/63) of the time (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: In this study, women introduced by men at IMGR were less likely to be addressed by professional title than were men introduced by men. Differential formality in speaker introductions may amplify isolation, marginalization, and professional discomfiture expressed by women faculty in academic medicine.

Double jeopardy in astronomy and planetary science: Women of color face greater risks of gendered and racial harassment
Kathryn Clancy et al.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, forthcoming


Women generally, and women of color specifically, have reported hostile workplace experiences in astronomy and related fields for some time. However, little is known of the extent to which individuals in these disciplines experience inappropriate remarks, harassment, and assault. We hypothesized that the multiple marginality of women of color would mean that they would experience a higher frequency of inappropriate remarks, harassment, and assault in the astronomical and planetary science workplace. We conducted an internet-based survey of the workplace experiences of 474 astronomers and planetary scientists between 2011 and 2015 and found support for this hypothesis. In this sample, in nearly every significant finding, women of color experienced the highest rates of negative workplace experiences, including harassment and assault. Further, 40% of women of color reported feeling unsafe in the workplace as a result of their gender or sex, and 28% of women of color reported feeling unsafe as a result of their race. Finally, 18% of women of color, and 12% of white women, skipped professional events because they did not feel safe attending, identifying a significant loss of career opportunities due to a hostile climate. Our results suggest that the astronomy and planetary science community needs to address the experiences of women of color and white women as they move forward in their efforts to create an inclusive workplace for all scientists.

Understanding the MBA Gender Gap: Women Respond to Gender Norms by Reducing Public Assertiveness but Not Private Effort 
Aaron Wallen et al.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, August 2017, Pages 1150-1170


Women’s underperformance in MBA programs has been the subject of recent debate and policy interventions, despite a lack of rigorous evidence documenting when and why it occurs. The current studies document a performance gap, specifying its contours and contributing factors. Two behaviors by female students that may factor into the gap are public conformity and private internalization. We predicted that women conform to the norm associating maleness with technical prowess by minimizing their public assertiveness in class discussions and meetings, but that they do not internalize the norm by reducing private effort. Data from multiple cohorts of a top-ranked MBA program reveal female underperformance occurred in technical subjects (e.g., accounting), but not social subjects (e.g., marketing). As predicted, the gender effect ran not through private effort but through public assertiveness, even controlling for gender differences in interests and aptitudes. These findings support some current policy interventions while casting doubt on others. 


Publish and Perish? An Assessment of Gender Gaps in Promotion to Tenure in Academia 
Katherine Weisshaar
Social Forces, forthcoming


In academia, there remains a gender gap in promotion to tenure, such that men are more likely to receive tenure than women. This paper tests three explanations of this gender gap in promotion: (1) contextual and organizational differences across departments; (2) performance/productivity differences by gender; and (3) gendered inequality in evaluation. To test these explanations, this project uses a novel dataset drawing from a sample of assistant professors in Sociology, Computer Science, and English, across research universities. This dataset combines data from sources including curriculum vitae, Google Scholar, and web archive employment data, resulting in a dataset of assistant professors’ publication records, department affiliations, and job positions. Analyses examine the gender gap in the likelihood of promotion to tenure and in early career trajectories, while accounting for publication productivity and department/university context. The results demonstrate that productivity measures account for a portion of the gender gap in tenure, but in each discipline a substantial share of the gender gap remains unexplained by these factors. Department characteristics do not explain the tenure gender gap. Further, when women do receive tenure, they do so in lower-prestige departments than men, on average. These findings suggest that gendered inequality in the tenure evaluation process contributes to the gender gap in tenure rates.

Lack of Associations between Female Hormone Levels and Visuospatial Working Memory, Divided Attention and Cognitive Bias across Two Consecutive Menstrual Cycles
Brigitte Leeners et al.
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, July 2017

Methods: This observational multisite study comprised data of n = 88 menstruating women from Hannover, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland, assessed during a first cycle and n = 68 re-assessed during a second cycle to rule out practice effects and false-positive chance findings. We assessed visuospatial working memory, attention, cognitive bias and hormone levels at four consecutive time-points across both cycles. In addition to inter-individual differences we examined intra-individual change over time (i.e., within-subject effects). 

Results: Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone did not relate to inter-individual differences in cognitive functioning. There was a significant negative association between intra-individual change in progesterone and change in working memory from pre-ovulatory to mid-luteal phase during the first cycle, but that association did not replicate in the second cycle. Intra-individual change in testosterone related negatively to change in cognitive bias from menstrual to pre-ovulatory as well as from pre-ovulatory to mid-luteal phase in the first cycle, but these associations did not replicate in the second cycle. 

Hormonal Contraceptives Do Not Impact Economic Preferences: Evidence from a Randomized Trial
Eva Ranehill et al.
Management Science, forthcoming 


A growing body of correlational studies suggests that sex hormones such as those contained in, or affected by, oral contraceptives (OCs) may impact economic behavior. However, despite widespread use of OCs among women in Western countries, little is known about their potential behavioral effects. The present study investigates whether OCs causally influence economic preferences. We randomly allocate 340 women aged 18-35 to three months of a widely used OC or placebo treatment. At the end of treatment, we conduct an economic experiment measuring altruism, financial risk taking, and willingness to compete. The statistical power is 80% to detect an effect size equal to a Cohen’s D of 0.30 at the 5% level. We find no significant effects of OCs on any of the measured preferences, indicating that this widely used OC treatment, commonly used throughout the world, does not significantly affect the measured economic preferences. Further, we find no relation between menstrual cycle phase and economic preferences in the placebo group. 


The Motherhood Wage Penalty by Work Conditions: How Do Occupational Characteristics Hinder or Empower Mothers?
Wei-hsin Yu & Janet Chen-Lan Kuo
American Sociological Review, forthcoming


Mothers are shown to receive lower wages than childless women across industrial countries. Although research on mothers’ wage disadvantage has noted that the extent of this disadvantage is not universal among mothers, it has paid relatively little attention to how the structural characteristics of jobs moderate the price women pay for motherhood. Using data from 16 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth that began in 1997, we examine how the pay gap between mothers and non-mothers varies by occupational characteristics. Deriving hypotheses from three prominent explanations for the motherhood wage penalty — stressing work-family conflict and job performance, compensating differentials, and employer discrimination, respectively — we test whether this penalty changes with an occupation’s exposure to hazardous conditions, schedule regularity, required on-the-job training, competitiveness, level of autonomy, and emphasis on teamwork. Results from fixed-effects models show that the wage reduction for each child is less in occupations with greater autonomy and lower teamwork requirements. Moreover, mothers encounter a smaller penalty when their occupations impose less competitive pressure. On the whole, these findings are consistent with the model focusing on job strain and work-family conflict, adding evidence to the importance of improving job conditions to alleviate work-family conflict. 

Population Processes and Establishment-Level Racial Employment Segregation
John-Paul Ferguson & Rembrand Koning
Stanford Working Paper, June 2017


Racial segregation between American workplaces is greater today than it was a generation ago. This increase has happened alongside the declines in within-establishment occupational segregation on which most prior research has focused. We examine more than 40 years of longitudinal data on the racial employment composition of every large private-sector workplace in the United States and calculate decomposable Theil statistics of segregation to compare and contrast between-area, between-establishment, and within-establishment trends in racial employment segregation over time. We demonstrate that the increase in establishment segregation owes little to within-establishment processes but rather stems from the different birth and death rates of more- and less-homogeneous workplaces. Present research on employment segregation focuses intently on within-firm processes. By doing so, we may be overstating what progress has been made on employment integration and ignoring other avenues of intervention that may give greater leverage for further integrating firms.

The Effects of Teacher Match on Students’ Academic Perceptions and Attitudes
Anna Egalite & Brian Kisida
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, forthcoming


Using student survey data from six U.S. school districts, we estimate how assignment to a demographically similar teacher affects student reports of personal effort, happiness in class, feeling cared for and motivated by their teacher, the quality of student–teacher communication, and college aspirations. Relying on a classroom fixed-effects strategy, we show that students assigned to a teacher with similar demographic characteristics experience positive benefits in terms of these academic perceptions and attitudes. The most consistent benefits are among gender matches, and the largest benefits are demonstrated by the combination of gender and racial/ethnic matches. The effects of gender matches are largely consistent across elementary and middle school, while the most consistent effects from race matches occur in middle school.

Economic Costs of Bias-Based Bullying
Laura Baams, Craig Talmage & Stephen Russell
School Psychology Quarterly, forthcoming


Because many school districts receive funding based on student attendance, absenteeism results in a high cost for the public education system. This study shows the direct links between bias-based bullying, school absenteeism because of feeling unsafe at school, and loss of funds for school districts in California. Data from the 2011–2013 California Healthy Kids Survey and the California Department of Education were utilized. Results indicate that annually, California school districts lose an estimated $276 million of unallocated funds because of student absences resulting from feeling unsafe at school. Experiences of bias-based bullying were significantly associated with student absenteeism, and the combination of these experiences resulted in a loss of funds to school districts. For example, the absence of students who experienced bullying based on their race or ethnicity resulted in a projected loss of $78 million in unallocated funds. These data indicate that in addition to fostering student safety and well-being, schools have the societal obligation and economic responsibility to prevent bias-based bullying and related absenteeism.

Affirmative action, cooperation, and the willingness to work in teams
Felix Kölle
Journal of Economic Psychology, October 2017, Pages 50–62


Affirmative action policies became a popular tool to equalize gender imbalances on the labor market. In this paper, we experimentally investigate whether the implementation of gender quotas in tournaments entail negative spillover effects on subsequent team performance and selection into teams. In three different team environments, we find that the presence of a gender quota does not harm performance and cooperation within teams, and does not weaken people’s willingness to work in teams. Our results, thus, provide further evidence that gender quotas can have the desired effect of promoting women without harming efficiency. We further find that while women significantly base their decision to work in teams on their ability as well as the specific team environment, men are largely insensitive to these factors.

A Framework for Sharing Confidential Research Data, Applied to Investigating Differential Pay by Race in the U. S. Government
Andrés Barrientos et al.
NBER Working Paper, June 2017


Data stewards seeking to provide access to large-scale social science data face a difficult challenge. They have to share data in ways that protect privacy and confidentiality, are informative for many analyses and purposes, and are relatively straightforward to use by data analysts. We present a framework for addressing this challenge. The framework uses an integrated system that includes fully synthetic data intended for wide access, coupled with means for approved users to access the confidential data via secure remote access solutions, glued together by verification servers that allow users to assess the quality of their analyses with the synthetic data. We apply this framework to data on the careers of employees of the U. S. federal government, studying differentials in pay by race. The integrated system performs as intended, allowing users to explore the synthetic data for potential pay differentials and learn through verifications which findings in the synthetic data hold up in the confidential data and which do not. We find differentials across races; for example, the gap between black and white female federal employees' pay increased over the time period. We present models for generating synthetic careers and differentially private algorithms for verification of regression results.

Skin Tone and Self-Employment: is there an Intra-Group Variation among Blacks? 
Srikant Devaraj & Pankaj Patel
Review of Black Political Economy, June 2017, Pages 137–166


The purpose of this paper is to formally evaluate whether odds of entry into self-employment decrease as skin tone darkens for Blacks in the United States. Extending past work on inter-group differences in Black-White self-employment, based on data from National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, with darker skin tone the odds of self-employment decline. Having spent more time in labor force further decreases the likelihood of self-employment for darker skin tone Blacks, and being a high-school graduate, scoring high on Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), or higher past year income are not associated with self-employment of darker skin tone Blacks. While darker skin tone Blacks who are self-employed derive lower income, those who are self-employed and with more human capital (longer time spent in the labor force, scoring high on ASVAB or being a high school graduate) have a higher income.

Executive Compensation and Ethnic Minority Status
Paul Guest
Industrial Relations, July 2017, Pages 427–458


We examine the compensation of ethnic minority executives in listed U.S. firms. The total pay of African American executives is 9 percent lower than that earned by Caucasians. This is due to lower base salary, lower bonus, and lower restricted stock grants. The lower bonus is due to a lower sensitivity to above-average firm performance. African Americans also earn significantly less on the exercise of stock options, increasing the pay gap to 17 percent for total ex-post pay. In contrast to African Americans, the compensation of Hispanic and Asian executives is comparable to Caucasians.

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