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Can gender parity break the glass ceiling? Evidence from a repeated randomized experiment

  • Manuel F. Bagüés
  • Berta Esteve-Volart

This paper studies whether the gender composition of recruiting committees matters. We make use of the exceptional evidence provided by Spanish public examinations, where the allocation of candidates to evaluating committees is random. We analyze how the chances of success of 150,000 male and female candidates to the four main Corps of the Spanish Judiciary over 1987-2005 were affected by the gender of their evaluators. We find that a female (male) candidate is significantly less likely to pass the exam whenever she is randomly assigned to a committee where the share of female (male) evaluators is relatively greater. Evidence from multiple choice tests reveals that both male dominated committees and female dominated committees are gender biased. Interestingly, this bias has not changed significantly over time and does not depend on the degree of feminization of the position.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Working Papers with number 2007-15.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2007-15
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