Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Economics makes you cultured

GF was in town for the weekend. We saw the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra. Why? Because I read about orchestras in an economics journal article I taught my students last semester. An oldy but a goody from Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse: "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians."

A change in the audition procedures of symphony orchestras-adoption of "blind" auditions with a "screen" to conceal the candidate's identity from the jury-- provides a test for sex-biased hiring. Using data from actual auditions, in an individual framework, we find that the screen increases the probability a woman will be advanced and hired. Although some of our estimates have large standard errors and there is one persistent effect in the opposite direction, the weight of the evidence suggests that the blind audition procedure fostered impartiality in hiring and increased the proportion women in symphony orchestras.


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