Taking a second look at the beliefs that shape us
Welcome! Have you ever wondered whether the American Dream is dead? What about the Economics of Adulting? And should you be optimizing for happiness or contentment? If you’ve ever thought about any of these issues, you’ll have to tune into Twice Around. Hosted by Mary Daly and Jody Hoff (colleagues, best friends, and mentors), each episode is a journey marked by myth-busting, insights, and advice. Is the Rags-to-Riches trope a real thing? Listen to find out.
American Dream, Poverty, Rags-to-Riches, Adulting, Happiness, Contentment, Perceptions
Are You Everyday Brave?
The Deserving Gap
Facts: Friends or Foes?
Are Our Biases Costing Us?
Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse
NBER Working Paper No. 5903
Issued in January 1997
Discrimination against women has been alleged in hiring practices for many occupations, but it is extremely difficult to demonstrate sex-biased hiring. A change in the way symphony orchestras recruit musicians provides an unusual way to test for sex-biased hiring. To overcome possible biases in hiring, most orchestras revised their audition policies in the 1970s and 1980s. A major change involved the use of blind’ auditions with a screen’ to conceal the identity of the candidate from the jury. Female musicians in the top five symphony orchestras in the United States were less than 5% of all players in 1970 but are 25% today. We ask whether women were more likely to be advanced and/or hired with the use of blind’ auditions. Using data from actual auditions in an individual fixed-effects framework, we find that the screen increases by 50% the probability a woman will be advanced out of certain preliminary rounds. The screen also enhances, by severalfold, the likelihood a female contestant will be the winner in the final round. Using data on orchestra personnel, the switch to blind’ auditions can explain between 30% and 55% of the increase in the proportion female among new hires and between 25% and 46% of the increase in the percentage female in the orchestras since 1970.
Are Emily and Greg more Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment On Labor Market Discrimination
Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan
NBER Working Paper No. 9873 July 2003 JEL No. J7, J71, J23, J24, J63, J82, C93
We perform a field experiment to measure racial discrimination in the labor market. We respond with fictitious resumes to help-wanted ads in Boston and Chicago newspapers. To manipulate perception of race, each resume is assigned either a very African American sounding name or a very White sounding name. The results show significant discrimination against African-American names: White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews. We also find that race affects the benefits of a better resume. For White names, a higher quality resume elicits 30 percent more callbacks whereas for African Americans, it elicits a far smaller increase. Applicants living in better neighborhoods receive more callbacks but, interestingly, this effect does not differ by race. The amount of discrimination is uniform across occupations and industries. Federal contractors and employers who list “Equal Opportunity Employer” in their ad discriminate as much as other employers. We find little evidence that our results are driven by employers inferring something other than race, such as social class, from the names. These results suggest that racial discrimination is still a prominent feature of the labor market.
David Neumark, Ian Burn, and Patrick Button.
FRBSF Economic Letter, (forthcoming, February 27, 2017)
Claire Cain Miller
New York Times Magazine, 2016
Most companies say they want to attract a diverse workforce, but few deliver. The only solution may be a radical one: anonymity.
JAY J. VAN BAVEL and TESSA V. WEST
Wall Street Journal, 2017
The key is to take bias out of the hiring process instead of trying to take it out of the people doing the hiring
USA Today, 2015
More than half of the Internet giant’s nearly 56000 employees have taken part in unconscious bias training
NPR: Code Switch, 2013
An interview with two leading researches in the area of implicit bias, with a discussion of their book Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People.
Are you Biased? Find out by taking the Implicit Bias Test.
Why Aren’t We All More Grateful?
What Determines Happiness?
“Relative Status and Well‐Being: Evidence from U.S. Suicide Deaths.” Review of Economics and Statistics, 95 (5) pp. 1480-1500, 2013. (with Daniel Wilson and Norm Johnson)
“Dark Contrasts: The Paradox of High Rates of Suicide in Happy Places.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 80 (3) pp. 435-442, 2011, (with Andrew Oswald, Daniel Wilson, and Stephen Wu).
“Happiness, Unhappiness, and Suicide: An Empirical Assessment.” Journal of the European Economic Association, 7 (2-3), 2009, (with Daniel Wilson).
The New Economics of Adulting
Can Only the Rich Get Ahead?
Is the American Dream Dead?
Poverty: Unlucky or Unmotivated?
Sep 13, 2016 – Poverty: The official poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5 percent, down 1.2 percentage points from 14.8 percent in 2014. In 2015, there were 43.1 million people in poverty, 3.5 million less than in 2014
Sep 13, 2016 – The income of the median household climbed by 5.2% to $56,516. That’s one of the biggest increases in recent years, though still leaves median incomes below their levels prior to the recession and below the all-time peak reached in 1999. The poverty rate declined to 13.5%.
Sep 13, 2016 – Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times … The median household’s income in 2015 was $56,500, up 5.2 percent from the previous year — the largest single-year increase since record-keeping began in 1967, the Census Bureau said on Tuesday. The share of Americans living in poverty also posted the sharpest decline in decades
Mar 18, 2016 – So we constructed an economic risk calculator, now available at riskcalculator.org, that allows you to assess your chances of experiencing poverty in the next five, 10 or 15 years.
The Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC or EIC, is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may give you a refund.
About the Team
Twice Around takes a second look at the beliefs that shape our thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. The show is brought to you by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and is a partnership between the Economic Research and Education & Outreach groups at the SF Fed.
- Co-Hosts: Mary Daly and Jody Hoff (FRBSF)
- Producers: Ellen Chan, Mary Daly, and Jody Hoff (FRBSF)
- Sound Design and Editing: Darrell Darnell (PodcastPro) and Andy Sheppard (Pacific Content)
- Web Design and Graphics: Brian St. John (FRBSF)
- Program Support: Kevin Cook and Amy Ferraz (FRBSF)