Faculty Grantees

Sydnee Caldwell

The Labor Market and Political Effects of Automation

This project examines why firms decide to automate, and what the consequences are of these decisions for workers and local communities.  Using information from the United States Census Bureau, we will construct firm level measures of automation.  We will link these measures to data from the American Community Survey and to linked employer-employee data at the United States Census to examine heterogeneity in the characteristics of workers and firms that are impacted by automation, and to examine the consequences of automation for these workers in terms of both employment and wages.

Solène Delacourt

How researchers' identity affects the general public's perception of gender research

Gender inequality among researchers is ubiquitous: research has shown that women researchers tend to be penalized by fellow researchers, in terms of hiring, funding, and collaboration. However, research has not looked at how the general public perceive research conducted by men vs. women researchers. As a first step in this endeavor, I focus on the perceptions of gender research. Do women believe gender research done by men? Do men believe gender research done by women? The goal of this research project is twofold: 1) experimentally testing the perceptions of gender research when conducted by male and female scientists and 2) testing whether male and female researchers tend to write different papers on gender.

Anastassia Fedyk

Understanding Glass Ceilings across the Universe of U.S. Firms

This project aims to evaluate the role that glass ceilings play across the cross-section of U.S. firms. We leverage a unique dataset of hundreds of millions of individual resumes to identify the extent to which women face glass ceilings in the workplace, how these glass ceilings vary across firms based on firm industry, size, and age, and the link between glass ceilings and both individual-level and firm-level outcomes. Prior evidence on glass ceilings has focused on specific industries or levels of senior management. By contrast, this project explores glass ceilings across the full spectrum of U.S. firms by leveraging the unique resume dataset and state-of-the-art machine learning techniques. This allows us to provide a comprehensive understanding of glass ceilings across companies, industries, and individuals.

Heather Haveman

Obstacles to Gender Equity at Work: A Computational Analysis of Corporate Culture and Workplace Practices in Bay Area Tech Firms

Journalists and academics have argued that tech firms have a gender problem, with few women in executive and technical positions and aggressively masculine cultures that denigrate women’s contributions and commitment.  Yet, some tech firms are inclusive and supportive of women.  This project uses computational analysis of examines tech-worker reviews to assess how much the cultures of Bay Area tech firms invoke gender stereotypes (masculine vs. feminine) about ideal workers.  It also assesses how much tech firms’ on-the-ground practices hinder work-family balance, which affects female workers more than male workers because female workers tend to be the primary caregivers.  It looks at corporate culture and workplace practices over time in order to assess whether the rise of the #MeToo movement has made gender stereotypes more salient to employees.  It also investigates whether having more women in positions of authority is associated with tech firms’ cultures and practices.

Elizabeth Linos

Race and Gender Inequity Across the Elite Career Course

Less than 20% of STEM jobs are held by people of color and women. This pattern holds true in many elite, well-paid, and growing industries. There is now a large body of evidence on bias in recruitment and selection. Yet, investments in recruiting a more diverse workforce will not make a meaningful dent on the challenge at hand, if day-to-day interactions at work create environments where people of color and women cannot be successful and satisfied. This project investigates when, where, and how career trajectories are racialized and gendered by examining the careers of over 200,000 employees in a large multinational professional services firm. After empirically identifying the pain points in this process, we will co-design and test behaviorally-informed solutions to improve equity at work.

PhD Grantees

Can Huang

Venture Capital Networks, Information, and the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship

Although recent decades have witnessed an increase in female participation in the labor market in almost all sectors, women are significantly underrepresented in innovation sectors, with only 10-15% of VC-backed startup founders are women. In this project, I examine the causes of this gender gap. Aware of the fact that startup investors rely heavily on networks to obtain information and better-networked entrepreneurs enjoy a higher success rate, I shed light on the role of networks in explaining the gender gap in the innovation sector. Inspired by news and social concerns that investors tend to undervalue female entrepreneurs, my main hypothesis is that female founders benefit less than male founders from the networks. This project examines the hypothesis and identifies potential channels that lead to the results, as well as discussing policy implications to mitigate gender gap issues.

Shoshana Jarvis

Perceptual differences in sufficient diversity and its implications for the workforce

Racial and gender disparities in representation in corporate positions remain persistent despite growing efforts to reduce inequities during the hiring process through diversity policies. This project tests if the cause of these disparities is due to differing definitions of what it means for a group to be diverse. In essence, do hiring managers perceive that thresholds for sufficient group-level diversity have been met before equitable representation is reached? To the extent that disparities in representation are caused by definitional differences, the existence of a diversity policy would be insufficient to create change because hiring managers would perceive they already met the requirements of the policy. By understanding how diversity policies fail to increase the diversity within companies, we can understand how to better design diversity initiatives to be successful.

Eva Lyubich

The Race Gap in Residential Energy Expenditures

This project studies the Black-white residential energy expenditure gap in California. Understanding differential energy burden is critical when designing policies that will affect energy prices, such as much-needed policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, since transitions can either mediate or mitigate existing inequalities. The goal of the project is to quantify the residential energy expenditure gap precisely using administrative data, decompose the gap to understand what drives it, and estimate the effect of solar rates and energy assistance programs on the gap in recent years. Given the long history of discriminatory housing policy, lending practices, and racial segregation in the United States, I am especially interested in examining differences in wealth, credit access, housing stock and energy efficiency investments as possible explanations.

Sonya Mishra

Leading with a Subordinate Identity: Heightened perceptions of women and minorities’ ethical behavior encourages greater engagement

Despite recent social movements calling for racial and gender equality, white males continue to wield tremendous amounts of authority in America. However, we suggest that individuals may prefer to work for minority leaders (i.e. non-white males) over majority group leaders (i.e. white males). Stereotype content model suggests that low-status groups such as women and racial minorities are stereotyped as warmer than high-status groups (i.e. white males) (Fiske, Cuddy & Glick, 2008). However, when women and underrepresented minorities are in leadership positions, they gain in perceptions of competence and are thus perceived as highly warm and highly competent. Across two studies, we demonstrate that white female, black male, and black female leaders are viewed as warmer, more ethical, and more engaging than white male leaders, but equally competent. Future studies aim to replicate our findings in more consequential settings. Our findings suggest that heightened perceptions of warmth and fairness increase individuals’ desires to work for women and racial minorities.

Alicia Sheares

Navigating Inequality: Black Tech Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley and Atlanta

Black workers and entrepreneurs comprise an extreme racial minority in the tech industry where they face various barriers to advancement. Yet, there are some individuals who find measures of success. How do they do it? Through nearly 100 interviews, my dissertation explores Black tech entrepreneurship in two key sites: Silicon Valley and Atlanta. Geography matters as it shapes one’s access to institutional resources, social networks, and the racial climate they will encounter. Wealth in Silicon Valley is plentiful but the region struggles with racial diversity, particularly as it pertains to Black workers. Conversely, Atlanta receives comparatively fewer venture capital dollars but is a city with a sizable Black population and an abundance of historically Black institutions. I posit that these differences will inform how Black tech entrepreneurs understand potential barriers and the strategies they use to navigate them in their respective markets.

Gauri Subramani

Exploration or Expertise: The Effects of Patenting on Subsequent Innovation

Women are less likely than men to both apply for and, conditional on applying, receive a patent.  In this work, I examine how this gender gap in patent outcomes affects inventors’ innovative trajectories and the landscape of innovation. I construct a novel dataset that tracks patent applicants over time and identify 3.9 million unique inventors from 18 million application observations. I study how prior experience with the patent process influences male and female inventors’ decisions to invent and the ideas they choose to pursue. I investigate the effect of firm affiliation on subsequent patent applications. This context allows me to evaluate the drivers of participation in innovation and explore the implications of gender differentials in patent outcomes on inventors’ outcomes and the direction of innovation.

Charlie Townsend

Criteria for evaluating applicants provide justification for discrimination

As hiring committees weigh criteria for evaluating candidates, do they perceive criteria for quality in ways that perpetuate unequal representation? Our preliminary evidence suggests that people view criteria as a higher quality when they are already well-established or favor the majority group. We explore the psychological underpinnings of this effect and it’s generalizability to those people directly involved in hiring decisions. We hope to use this research to identify interventions that can increase hiring of women and underrepresented minorities.

Post-Doc Grantees

Margaret Lee

Gender Differences in Work Preferences

The number of subordinates an individual manages within an organization, what is referred to as “span of control,” can have implications for compensation and promotability. In the current work, we investigate whether there are gender differences in stated preferences for span of control. We hypothesize that women will express preferences for leading smaller groups of people, or having smaller spans of control, than men. We plan to examine why women and men differ in these preferences, looking at two possibilities: impression management concerns and work preferences. Understanding preference differences between men and women will allow for better decision making by organizations and individuals to remedy gender disparities in the workplace.