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A warm welcome? Access to advisory services for men and women

Barbro Widerstedt, Jonas Månsson and Jonatan Rosdahl

Economic Analysis and Policy, 2018, vol. 58, issue C, 100-110

Abstract: In politics, broadly stated ambitions such that a service should be available to all are fairly commonplace. However, evaluation access to service in a broader sense is often difficult and expensive. In this study we use a field experiment to investigate if the reception from the business development community differs contingent on the gender of the client. In the experiment, identical email requests were sent to actors in the enterprise promotion system. The result is that response frequency and time were independent of the gender of the sender. However, the male sender was more often given an explicit invitation to book a time slot. To delve further into the responses, we use sentiment analysis, a ‘big data’ method, to analyse the replies. The analysis reveal that replies to the female sender is more positive. Our conclusion is that even if there are some gender differences we would not consider it to be a systematic discrimination. However, the unconsciousness from public servants should be included in training to increase awareness of this issue.

Keywords: Gender; Field experiment; Policy evaluation; Business promotion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H83 H43 L26 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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