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Demand for LaborThe Neglected Side of the Market$
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Daniel S. Hamermesh and Corrado Giulietti

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791379

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791379.001.0001

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What is Discrimination? Gender in the American Economic Association, 1935–2004

What is Discrimination? Gender in the American Economic Association, 1935–2004

Chapter:
(p.331) 15 What is Discrimination? Gender in the American Economic Association, 1935–2004
Source:
Demand for Labor
Author(s):

Daniel S. Hamermesh

Daniel S. Hamermesh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791379.003.0015

Measuring market discrimination is extremely difficult except i where physical output measures allow direct measurement of productivity. We illustrate this point with evidence on elections to offices of the American Economic Association. Using a new technique to infer the determinants of the chances of observing a particular outcome when there are K choices out of N possibilities, we find that female candidates have a much better than random chance of victory. This advantage can be interpreted either as reverse discrimination or as reflecting voters’ beliefs that women are more productive than observationally identical men in this activity. There was a clear structural change in voting behavior in the mid-1970s. The results suggest that it is not generally possible to claim that differences in rewards for different groups measure the extent of discrimination or even its direction.

Keywords:   Gender discrimination, reverse discrimination, combinatorial methods, sociology of science, voting behavior

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