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

  • Cecilia Rouse
  • Claudia Goldin

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.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.90.4.715
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 90 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 715-741

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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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  1. Kenney, Genevieve M & Wissoker, Douglas A, 1994. "An Analysis of the Correlates of Discrimination Facing Young Hispanic Job-Seekers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 674-83, June.
  2. Paula England, 1982. "The Failure of Human Capital Theory to Explain Occupational Sex Segregation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 358-370.
  3. Freeman, Richard Barry, 1984. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," Scholarly Articles 4631951, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1995. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," NBER Working Papers 5024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Blank, Rebecca M, 1991. "The Effects of Double-Blind versus Single-Blind Reviewing: Experimental Evidence from The American Economic Review," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1041-67, December.
  6. H. Holzer & D. Neumark, . "Are affirmative action hires less qualified? Evidence from employer-employee data on new hires," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1113-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
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