Doling Opportunity

Kevin Lewis

January 13, 2022

Collateral Damage: The Relationship Between High-Salience Events and Variation in Racial Discrimination
Andreea Gorbatai, Peter Younkin & Gordon Burtch
Organization Science, forthcoming

To what extent are individual or organizational biases affected by racially salient events? We propose that acts of discrimination and the individual biases that undergird them are sensitive to high-salience events and will oscillate with the salience of the focal attribute. In short, that the propensity to discriminate reflects both individual and environmental differences, and therefore a given person may become more prone to discriminate in the aftermath of a high-salience event. We test our hypothesis in three online experiments that examine how varying the salience of race affects the evaluation of in-group or out-group founders. We find that respondents evaluate their in-group members more favorably, and out-group members less favorably, when exposed to a high-salience event, which translates into a significant disadvantage for the minority (African American) group. We complement these studies with an assessment of how police shootings affect fundraising outcomes on Kickstarter to confirm the external validity of our findings. Together, these studies indicate that racially salient events depress the quality evaluations and success odds of African American entrepreneurs relative to others. Hence, discrimination levels can be affected by salient yet unrelated events, and such events are consequential for the economic fortunes of individuals belonging to minority and disadvantaged groups. 

Do Wages Fall When Women Enter an Occupation? 
Jorgen Harris
Labour Economics, January 2022

I present causal evidence on the effect of women's entry into occupations on wages in the United States. I construct a shift-share instrument that interacts the dramatic increase in women's educational attainment and workforce participation from 1960-2010 with the likelihood that men and women enter each occupation. I find that a 10 percentage-point increase in the female fraction within an occupation leads to an 8 percent decrease in average male wage and a 7 percent decrease in average female wage in the concurrent census year, and an 9 percent decrease in male wages and a 14 percent decrease in female wages over 10 years. 

What Drives Racial Diversity on U.S. Corporate Boards?
Vicki Bogan, Ekaterina Potemkina & Scott Yonker
Cornell Working Paper, October 2021

We investigate the trends and drivers of racial diversity on U.S. corporate boards. We document that U.S. boards are persistently racially homogenous, but that this is changing. About 10% of directors on the average board during our sample are non-white, however, new director appointments of racial minorities increased from 12% in 2013 to over 40% in 2021. Smaller, value firms are less likely to likely to appoint minority directors and through 2019 firms with racially homogenous boards are also less likely to. In 2020, this trend sharply reverses such that by 2021 firms with racially homogenous boards actually seek minority directors. This reversal coincides with the commencement of the racial justice movement as well as diversity initiatives implemented by the NYSE, Nasdaq, and state of California. Our analysis of these initiatives reveals that the racial justice movement was the primary cause of the changes in minority director appointment behavior. Conservative estimates imply that it led to a 120% increase in the number of black directors appointed to boards, but did little to help other minority groups. In contrast, the California diversity mandate has thus far, primarily benefited racial groups that are not traditionally underrepresented and has suppressed appointments of black directors. Newly appointed minority directors have similar qualifications to those appointed before the racial justice movement. Markets did not systematically react to any of the events that we investigate. Our analysis is suggestive of search frictions and racial bias being important to the persistent lack of board racial diversity that we document. 

Female workers, male managers: Gender, leadership, and risk-taking
Ulf Rinne & Hendrik Sonnabend
Southern Economic Journal, January 2022, Pages 906-930

This study examines gender differences in risk-taking behavior among managers in a female-dominated industry. Using data from international top-level women's soccer, we provide evidence that on average, male coaches show a lower level of risk-taking than female coaches. We also find a U-shaped age effect that is independent of gender, meaning that young and more mature individuals tend to take riskier decisions. Our main results therefore strongly contrast with the majority of previous studies on gender differences in risk preferences, and thereby emphasize the importance of considering institutional differences or labor market specifics. Underlying selection processes may play an important role as well as gender stereotypes. Lastly, we find no correlation between gender differences in risk-taking and female empowerment defined by national gender equality scores. 

Racial Preferences for Schools: Evidence from an Experiment with White, Black, Latinx, and Asian Parents and Students
Chantal Hailey
Sociology of Education, forthcoming

Most U.S. students attend racially segregated schools. To understand this pattern, I employ a survey experiment with New York City families actively choosing schools and investigate whether they express racialized school preferences. I find school racial composition heterogeneously affects white, black, Latinx, and Asian parents' and students' willingness to attend schools. Independent of characteristics potentially correlated with race, white and Asian families preferred white schools over black and Latinx schools, Latinx families preferred Latinx schools over black schools, and black families preferred black schools over white schools. Results, importantly, demonstrate that racial composition has larger effects on white and Latinx parents' preferences compared with white and Latinx students and smaller effects on black parents compared with black students. To ensure results were not an artifact of experimental conditions, I validate findings using administrative data on New York City families' actual school choices in 2013. Both analyses establish that families express heterogenous racialized school preferences. 

Teaching Bias? Relations between Teaching Quality and Classroom Demographic Composition
Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, Peter Halpin & Luis Rodriguez
American Journal of Education, forthcoming

Research Methods/Approach:
Using data from the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, we consider various sources of within-teacher, across-classroom variation of teaching effectiveness using a teacher fixed-effects modeling approach and highlight those that may, on average, disadvantage youth of color.

We find that (1) about half of the variation in classroom teaching efficacy is within teachers, (2) classrooms taught by the same teacher with higher percentages of Black and Latinx students receive lower quality of teaching, and (3) these patterns are consistent across teacher racial/ethnic groups. A number of plausible explanations of this association are considered, including rater biases on observational measures and differences in teaching practices; we also consider how these variations differ by teacher race. 

Same-sex marriage laws, LGBT hate crimes, and employment discrimination charges
Dimitrios Nikolaou
Southern Economic Journal, January 2022, Pages 869-905

The impact of same-sex marriage laws on the victimization of sexual minorities has not received much attention in the literature. Using state-level panel data within a difference-in-differences framework, I examine how the legalization of same-sex marriage affects hate crimes. The results show that same-sex marriage laws decrease sexual orientation-motivated hate crimes, with stronger effects on gay men. This is consistent with the laws increasing tolerance toward and acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, further supported by complementary analysis from Google Trends data. This is also the first study to examine the effects of marriage equality on allegations of employment discrimination due to sexual orientation based on information from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The findings support that marriage equality laws have an additional beneficial effect: the laws not only decrease hate crimes, but they also decrease the incidence of employment discrimination (at worst, the laws do not affect discriminatory practices). 

The Effects of Letters of Recommendation in the Youth Labor Market
Sara Heller & Judd Kessler
NBER Working Paper, December 2021

Youth employment has been near historic lows in recent years, and racial gaps persist. This paper tests whether information frictions limit young people's labor market success with a field experiment involving over 43,000 youth in New York City. We build software that allows employers to quickly and easily produce letters of recommendation for randomly selected youth who worked under their supervision during a summer youth employment program. We then send these letters to nearly 9,000 youth over two years. Being sent a letter generates a 3 percentage point (4.5 percent) increase in employment the following year, with both employment and earnings increases persisting over the two-year follow-up period. By posting our own job advertisement, we document that while treatment youth do use the letters in applications, there is no evidence of other supply-side responses (i.e., no increased job search, motivation, or confidence); effects appear to be driven by the demand side. Labor market benefits accrue primarily to racial and ethnic minorities, suggesting frictions may contribute to racial employment gaps. But improved employment may also hamper on-time high school graduation. Additional evidence indicates that letters help improve job match quality. Results suggest that expanding the availability of credible signals about young workers - particularly for those not on the margin of graduating high school - could improve the efficiency of the youth labor market. 

Spatial and mathematics skills: Similarities and differences related to age, SES, and gender
Tessa Johnson et al.
Cognition, January 2022

Performance on a range of spatial and mathematics tasks was measured in a sample of 1592 students in kindergarten, third grade, and sixth grade. In a previously published analysis of these data, performance was analyzed by grade only. In the present analyses, we examined whether the relations between spatial skill and mathematics skill differed across socio-economic levels, for boys versus girls, or both. Our first aim was to test for group differences in spatial skill and mathematics skill. We found that children from higher income families showed significantly better performance on both spatial and mathematics measures, and boys outperformed girls on spatial measures in all three grades, but only outperformed girls on mathematics measures in kindergarten. Further, comparisons using factor analysis indicated that the income-related gap in mathematics performance increased across the grade levels, while the income-related gap in spatial performance remained constant. Our second aim was to test whether spatial skill mediated any of these effects, and we found that it did, either partially or fully, in all four cases. Our third aim was to test whether the "separate but correlated" two-factor latent structure previously reported for spatial skill and mathematics skill was (Mix et al., 2016; Mix et al., 2017) replicated across grade, SES, and sex. Multi-group confirmatory factor analyses conducted for each of these subgroups indicated that the same latent structure was present, despite differences in overall performance. These findings replicate and extend prior work on SES and sex differences related to spatial and mathematics skill, but provide evidence that the relations between the domains are stable and consistent across subgroups. 

Chess Girls Don't Cry: Gender Composition of Games and Effort in Competitions among the Super-Elite
Maryam Dilmaghani
Journal of Economic Psychology, forthcoming

The deterministic nature of chess makes the outcome strongly predictable, especially among the elite. As a result, instead of ending in a checkmate or a forced tie, elite chess games end either in the resignation of the player in a losing position or a mutually agreed upon draw. Traits such as competitiveness, over-confidence, and risk tolerance, all more prevalent among males, likely prolong the games. In contrast, susceptibility to intimidation and stereotype threat, more relevant to females, likely accelerate the completion of games. Using a recent sample of super-elite chess games, the present paper shows that males are substantially quicker to quit when dominated by a female than by a male. In contrast, female players' behaviour differs little as a function of the gender of opponents. The results are interpreted through the "mere effort" impact of stereotype threat and the self-handicapping concept. 

Evaluations of abusive supervisors: The moderating role of the abuser's gender
Joseph Kim, Crystal Harold & Brian Holtz
Journal of Organizational Behavior, forthcoming

The present research examines the role of leaders' gender in influencing how employees evaluate abusive supervision. This paper argues that abusive supervision is considered to be a less typical leader behavior for female leaders, compared to male leaders, because abusive behaviors violate the stereotypes traditionally prescribed to female leaders (e.g., communal and caring). As such, drawing from gender stereotype theories (e.g., the lack-of-fit model and role congruity theory), we propose that, among leaders who engage in abusive supervision, employees will rate female leaders as less effective than male leaders. However, we also propose that employees will attribute female leaders' abuse to internal characteristics to a lesser extent than male leaders. Results from both an experimental study (Study 1) and a field study (Study 2) conducted with working adults support our hypotheses. Namely, results suggest that female leaders' abusive supervision is viewed as less typical leadership behavior and, consequently, is associated with lower ratings of effectiveness compared to abusive male leaders. Conversely, because abuse is viewed as female-atypical behavior, employees were less likely to make internal attributions for female leaders' abusive behaviors. Implications for theory and practice will be discussed. 

Restorative for All? Racial Disproportionality and School Discipline Under Restorative Justice
Miles Davison, Andrew Penner & Emily Penner
American Educational Research Journal, forthcoming

A growing number of schools are adopting restorative justice (RJ) practices that de-emphasize exclusionary discipline and aim for racial equity. We examine student discipline as RJ programs matured in Meadowview Public Schools from 2008 to 2017. Our difference-in-difference estimates show that students in RJ schools experienced a profound decline in their suspension rates during the first 5 years of implementation. However, the benefits of RJ were not shared by all students, as disciplinary outcomes for Black students were largely unchanged. While the overall effects of RJ in this context are promising, racial disproportionality widened. Our results suggest that the racial equity intentions of RJ may be diluted as schools integrate RJ into their existing practices. 

Racial Inequality in Unemployment Insurance Receipt and Take-Up
Elira Kuka & Bryan Stuart
NBER Working Paper, December 2021

This paper studies differences in receipt and take-up of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits among white and Black individuals. We combine state-level UI regulations with data containing detailed information on individuals' work history and UI receipt. Black individuals who separate from a job are 24% less likely to receive UI than whites. The UI receipt gap stems primarily from lower take-up of UI benefits among likely eligible individuals, as opposed to differences in benefit eligibility. Statistical decompositions indicate that about one-half of the take-up gap is explained by Black workers' lower pre-unemployment earnings and higher tendency to live in the South. 

Incongruent Impressions: Teacher, Parent, and Student Perceptions of Two Black Boys' School Experiences
Yasmin Cole-Lewis et al.
Journal of Adolescent Research, forthcoming

For many Black boys, poor academic performance and high rates of school discipline are often related to biases in how they are perceived and treated at school. These biases oftentimes misalign with how Black boys view themselves and how family members perceive them at home. Few studies examine how different stakeholders' perceptions of Black boys manifest and shape the middle school experience. The current study employed an embedded case study design, using data from eight semi-structured interviews to explore incongruence among student, teacher, and parent perceptions of two middle school Black boys' academic and social experiences. Findings showed greater congruence between the boys' experiences and their parents' perceptions of them compared to their teachers' perceptions of them. Of note were teachers' inaccurate reports of the boys' career aspirations and academic interests and abilities. Implications of these patterns and their impact on Black boys' experiences in school are discussed.


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