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Diversity and the timing of preference in hiring decisions

Logan M. Lee and Glen R. Waddell

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2021, vol. 184, issue C, 432-459

Abstract: We consider a hiring procedure in which candidates are evaluated in sequence by two agents of the firm. We illustrate how one agent’s interest in enhancing diversity can indirectly influence the other agent’s hiring decisions. Where there is an unequal interest in diversity across the two decision makers, this can be sufficiently offsetting that even highly productive candidates who also enhance diversity are less likely to be hired. In an experimental setting, we first establish that incentivizing subjects to choose females (males) induces them into choosing females (males). Importantly, then, we establish that when subjects who screen candidates in an earlier stage know about this pending incentive they systematically avoid forwarding females (males) when they jeopardize the candidacy of higher-ranking male (female) candidates.

Keywords: Diversity; Hiring; Gender; Race; Discrimination (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D8 J7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:184:y:2021:i:c:p:432-459

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2020.11.014

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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