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When Performance Trumps Gender Bias: Joint Versus Separate Evaluation

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  • Bazerman, Max H.
  • Bohnet, Iris
  • Van Geen, Alexandra Vivien

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

  • Bazerman, Max H. & Bohnet, Iris & Van Geen, Alexandra Vivien, 2012. "When Performance Trumps Gender Bias: Joint Versus Separate Evaluation," Scholarly Articles 8506867, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:8506867
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    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/8506867/RWP12-009-Bohnet.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Gary S., 1978. "The Economic Approach to Human Behavior," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226041124, July.
    2. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-941.
    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. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Natalia Zinovyeva & Manuel F. Bagues, 2010. "Does gender matter for academic promotion? Evidence from a randomized natural experiment," Working Papers 2010-15, FEDEA.
    8. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    9. Donna K. Ginther & Shulamit Kahn, 2004. "Women in Economics: Moving Up or Falling Off the Academic Career Ladder?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 193-214, Summer.
    10. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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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).

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