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Self-image Bias and Lost Talent

Marciano Siniscalchi and Pietro Veronesi

No 28308, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We propose an overlapping-generation model wherein researchers belong to two groups, M or F, and established researchers evaluate new researchers. Group imbalance obtains even with group-neutral evaluations and identical productivity distributions. Evaluators’ self-image bias and mild between-group heterogeneity in equally productive research characteristics lead the initially dominant group, say M, to promote scholars with characteristics similar to theirs. Promoted Fresearchers are few and similar to M-researchers, perpetuating imbalance. Candidates’ career concerns and institutions’ hiring practices exacerbate talent loss. Mentorship reduces group imbalance, but increases F-group talent loss. Affirmative action reduces both. Our mechanism explains existing evidence and suggests different policies.

JEL-codes: A11 J16 J7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lma and nep-sog
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