Economics Research Seminar Series: Understanding Gender Biases in Job Referrals Event Logo

Economics Research Seminar Series: Understanding Gender Biases in Job Referrals

by Public and Community Events

Virtual Webinar

Mon, Dec 6, 2021

1 PM – 2 PM (GMT+2)

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In this ERSS session, Ernesto Reuben, professor of economics, New York University - Abu Dhabi, will present his work-in-progress on “Understanding Gender Biases in Job Referrals”. 

Job referrals through informal networks are an important channel for disseminating information about the qualifications of job candidates. As such, they play a crucial role in determining the outcomes of hiring and promotion decisions. In his paper, Reuben studies gender biases in the referral process. He investigates this question through an online experiment in which university students are asked to nominate their highest-scoring classmates in math or verbal tasks. Using administrative data, he reconstructs the students’ co-enrollment network. This allows him to identify who is chosen as well as everyone else who was not. In other words, he can measure the quality of the referrals and the characteristics of candidates who are better but not chosen. The preliminary results show that participants are more likely to refer men than equally qualified women in math but not verbal tasks. This difference is partly explained by gender differences in networks and the gender of the referrer. Debiasing the referral process could substantially increase the share of women being referred. 

ERSS is a monthly event that aims to discuss economics research work in progress that is relevant to the Arab region. 



Ernesto Reuben's profile photo

Ernesto Reuben

Professor of Economics

Social Science Division, New York University - Abu Dhabi

Ernesto Reuben is a professor of economics in the Social Science Division of New York University Abu Dhabi, an affiliated researcher in the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, and one of the Center for Behavioral Institutional founding researchers Design. His broad research interests lie within behavioral economics and public policy. In particular, he investigates the emergence and enforcement of prosocial norms, the behavioral determinants of labor market outcomes, and the effect of biases on discrimination. Recently, he is also working on the effectiveness and welfare implications of “nudges” as a policy tool. His research, which utilizes experiments and survey data, has been published in leading journals in the social sciences, such as the Journal of Political Economy, the American Journal of Political Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He is currently an associate editor for the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization and a member of the Editorial Board of Experimental Economics. 

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