IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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

Listed author(s):
  • Claudia Goldin

    (Harvard University and NBER)

  • Cecilia Rouse

    (Princeton University and NBER)

Discrimination against women has been alleged in hiring practices for many occupations, but it is extremely difficult to demonstrate sex-biased hiring. A change in the way symphony orchestras recruit musicians provides an unusual way to test for sex-biased hiring. To overcome possible biases in hiring, most orchestras revised their audition policies in the 1970s and 1980s. A major change involved the use of "blind" auditions with a "screen" to conceal the identity of the candidate from the jury. Female musicians in the top 5 symphony orchestras in the United States were less than 5% of all players in 1970 but are 25% today. We ask whether women were more likely to be advanced and/ or hired with the use of "blind" auditions. Using data from actual auditions in an individual fixed-effects framework, we find that the screen increases- by 50% - the probability a woman will be advanced out of certain preliminary rounds. The screen also enhances, by several fold, the likelihood a female contestant will be the winner in the final round. Using data on orchestra personnel, the switch to "blind" auditions can explain between 30% and 55% of the increase in the proportion female among new hires and between 25% and 46% of the increase in the percentage female in the orchestras since 1970.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/handle/88435/dsp01ns064602n
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 755.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jan 1997
Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:376
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Firestone Library, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-2098

Phone: 609 258-4041
Fax: 609 258-2907
Web page: http://www.irs.princeton.edu/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. 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.
  2. Freeman, Richard B, 1984. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-26, January.
  3. 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.
  4. Kenneth Arrow, 1971. "The Theory of Discrimination," Working Papers 403, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  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 1041-1067, December.
  6. Holzer, Harry & Neumark, David, 1999. "Are Affirmative Action Hires Less Qualified? Evidence from Employer-Employee Data on New Hires," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 534-569, July.
  7. 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 674-683, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:376. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bobray Bordelon)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.