DP14190 Does Scarcity of Female Instructors Create Demand for Diversity among Students? Evidence from Observational and Experimental Data

Author(s): Patricia Funk, Nagore Iriberri, Giulia Savio
Publication Date: December 2019
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14190

This paper combines observational and experimental data to investigate whether scarcity of female instructors affects students' preferences for instructor gender. We find that female students evaluate female professors relatively more favorably but only in male-dominated faculties. To shed light on scarcity of female professors as a potential channel, we design an incentivized instructor-choice experiment on MTurk. We experimentally vary the existing pool of instructor gender and let subjects choose one additional (male or female) instructor. Female (and only female) subjects are more likely to choose the female instructor when the pool of instructors is male-dominated.