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Professors in Core Science Fields Are Not Always Biased against Women: Evidence from France

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  • Thomas Breda
  • Son Thierry Ly

Abstract

We investigate the link between how male-dominated a field is, and gender bias against women in this field. Taking the entrance exam of a French higher education institution as a natural experiment, we find that evaluation is actually biased in favor of females in more male-dominated subjects (e.g., math, philosophy) and in favor of males in more female-dominated subjects (e.g., literature, biology), inducing a rebalancing of gender ratios between students recruited for research careers in science and humanities majors. Evaluation bias is identified from systematic variations across subjects in the gap between students' nonanonymous oral and anonymous written test scores. (JEL I23, J16, J71)

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Breda & Son Thierry Ly, 2015. "Professors in Core Science Fields Are Not Always Biased against Women: Evidence from France," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 53-75, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:7:y:2015:i:4:p:53-75
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20140022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2005. "Do Faculty Serve as Role Models? The Impact of Instructor Gender on Female Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 152-157, May.
    2. Natalia Zinovyeva & Manuel Bagues, 2015. "The Role of Connections in Academic Promotions," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 264-292, April.
    3. Hinnerich, Björn Tyrefors & Höglin, Erik & Johannesson, Magnus, 2011. "Are boys discriminated in Swedish high schools?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 682-690, August.
    4. David Kiss, 2013. "Are immigrants and girls graded worse? Results of a matching approach," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 447-463, December.
    5. Thomas Breda & Son Thierry Ly, 2015. "Professors in Core Science Fields Are Not Always Biased against Women: Evidence from France," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 53-75, October.
    6. Manuel F. Bagues & Berta Esteve-Volart, 2010. "Can Gender Parity Break the Glass Ceiling? Evidence from a Repeated Randomized Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1301-1328.
    7. 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 1041-1067, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Terrier, Camille, 2016. "Boys Lag Behind: How Teachers' Gender Biases Affect Student Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 10343, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Nathalie Greenan & Joseph Lafranchi & Yannick L'Horty & Mathieu Narcy & Guillaume Pierne, 2016. "Inegalites Et Discriminations Dans L'Acces A La Fonction Publique D'Etat : Une Evaluation Par L'Analyse Des Fichiers Administratifs De Concours," Working Papers halshs-01374425, HAL.
    3. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:19337555 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Thomas Breda & Julien Grenet & Marion Monnet & Clémentine Van Effenterre, 2018. "Can female role models reduce the gender gap in science? Evidence from classroom interventions in French high schools," PSE Working Papers halshs-01713068, HAL.
    5. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:18-21 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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