NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Sex Discrimination by Sex: Voting in a Professional Society

Alan E. Dillingham, Marianne A. Ferber, Daniel S. Hamermesh

NBER Working Paper No. 3789
Issued in July 1991
NBER Program(s):   LS

Economic theories of discrimination are usually based on tastes. The huge body of empirical studies, however, considers the discriminatory outcomes that are the reduced-form results of interactions between tastes and opportunity sets. None examines tastes for discrimination directly, or considers people's willingness to trade off other characteristics to indulge their tastes. We study these trade-offs using a set of data on votes for officers in a professional association. The evidence shows that female voters are much more likely to vote for female than for male candidates, and that other affinities between them and a candidate have little effect on their choices. Male voters are slightly more likely to vote for female candidates, but their choices are easily altered by other affinities to a candidate.

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Published: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 47, pp. 622-633 (July 1994).

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