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When Performance Trumps Gender Bias: Joint versus Separate Evaluation

Author

Listed:
  • Bohnet, Iris

    (Harvard University)

  • van Geen, Alexandra

    (Harvard University)

  • Bazerman, Max H.

Abstract

We examine a new intervention to overcome gender biases in hiring, promotion, and job assignments: an "evaluation nudge," in which people are evaluated jointly rather than separately regarding their future performance. Evaluators are more likely to focus on individual performance in joint than in separate evaluation and on group stereotypes in separate than in joint evaluation, making joint evaluation the money-maximizing evaluation procedure. Our findings are compatible with a behavioral model of information processing and with the System 1/System 2 distinction in behavioral decision research where people have two distinct modes of thinking that are activated under certain conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bohnet, Iris & van Geen, Alexandra & Bazerman, Max H., 2012. "When Performance Trumps Gender Bias: Joint versus Separate Evaluation," Working Paper Series rwp12-009, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp12-009
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    File URL: https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=8301&type=WPN
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Becker, Gary S., 1978. "The Economic Approach to Human Behavior," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226041124, August.
    2. 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.
    3. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 3-21, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hobman, Elizabeth V. & Frederiks, Elisha R. & Stenner, Karen & Meikle, Sarah, 2016. "Uptake and usage of cost-reflective electricity pricing: Insights from psychology and behavioural economics," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 455-467.
    2. Heinz, Matthias & Normann, Hans-Theo & Rau, Holger A., 2016. "How competitiveness may cause a gender wage gap: Experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 336-349.
    3. Heinz, Matthias & Normann, Hans-Theo & Rau, Holger A., 2016. "How competitiveness may cause a gender wage gap: Experimental evidence," DICE Discussion Papers 213, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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