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

Working paper n°: 148

Author(s): Patricia Funk, Nagore Iriberri, Giulia Savio

Year: 2021

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 only women are more likely to choose the female instructor when the pool of instructors is male-dominated, suggesting that female students appreciate a more balanced instructor pool if female professors are scarce. We further document that women also appreciate diversity (though to a lesser extent) if the scarce gender is of the opposite sex. In contrast, men only appreciate diversity if the scarce gender is their own.

Patricia Funk, Università della Svizzera italiana -

Nagore Iriberri, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science -

Giulia Savio, Università Bocconi -

Language: English

The paper may be downloaded here.