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Diversity And The Timing Of Preference In Hiring Decisions

Logan M. Lee, G. Waddell
Published 2021 · Psychology

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Abstract We consider a hiring procedure in which candidates are evaluated in sequence by two agents of the firm. We illustrate how one agent’s interest in enhancing diversity can indirectly influence the other agent’s hiring decisions. Where there is an unequal interest in diversity across the two decision makers, this can be sufficiently offsetting that even highly productive candidates who also enhance diversity are less likely to be hired. In an experimental setting, we first establish that incentivizing subjects to choose females (males) induces them into choosing females (males). Importantly, then, we establish that when subjects who screen candidates in an earlier stage know about this pending incentive they systematically avoid forwarding females (males) when they jeopardize the candidacy of higher-ranking male (female) candidates.
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