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Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians

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  • Cecilia Rouse
  • Claudia Goldin

Abstract

A change in the audition procedures of symphony orchestras--adoption of "blind" auditions with a "screen" to conceal the candidate's identity from the jury--provides a test for sex-biased hiring. Using data from actual auditions, in an individual fixed-effects framework, we find that the screen increases the probability a woman will be advanced and hired. Although some of our estimates have large standard errors and there is one persistent effect in the opposite direction, the weight of the evidence suggests that the blind audition procedure fostered impartiality in hiring and increased the proportion women in symphony orchestras.

Suggested Citation

  • Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:4:p:715-741
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.4.715
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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