DP14190 Does Scarcity of Female Instructors Create Demand for Diversity among Students? Evidence from an M-Turk Experiment

Author(s): Patricia Funk, Nagore Iriberri, Giulia Savio
Publication Date: December 2019
Date Revised: January 2022
Keyword(s): gender scarcity, instructor-choice experiment
JEL(s): J16
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14190

Scarcity of female academics has been well documented for math-intensive or STEM fields. We investigate whether a lack of female instructors creates a demand for diversity on the student side. In an incentivized instructor-choice experiment on MTurk, we experimentally vary the gender balancedness of the instructor pool and let participants choose one additional instructor among one male and one female. We find that participants value diversity when female instructors are scarce. The effect is statistically significant for women but not for men, and these gender differences get further amplified when we restrict the attention to a sub-sample of participants who made a more meditated choice. Women also appreciate diversity, when scarcity concerns the opposite sex - in contrast to men, who value diversity only when the scarce gender is their own.