NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Jack Mountjoy

Booth School of Business
University of Chicago
5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

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NBER Program Affiliations: LS
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: University of Chicago

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2020On the Use of Outcome Tests for Detecting Bias in Decision Making
with Ivan A. Canay, Magne Mogstad: w27802
The decisions of judges, lenders, journal editors, and other gatekeepers often lead to disparities in outcomes across affected groups. An important question is whether, and to what extent, these group-level disparities are driven by relevant differences in underlying individual characteristics, or by biased decision makers. Becker (1957) proposed an outcome test for bias leading to a large body of related empirical work, with recent innovations in settings where decision makers are exogenously assigned to cases and vary progressively in their decision tendencies. We carefully examine what can be learned about bias in decision making in such settings. Our results call into question recent conclusions about racial bias among bail judges, and, more broadly, yield four lessons for researchers ...
March 2019Improving Educational Pathways to Social Mobility: Evidence from Norway’s “Reform 94”
with Marianne Bertrand, Magne Mogstad: w25679
High school vocational education has a controversial history in the United States, largely due to a perceived tradeoff between teaching readily deployable occupational skills versus shunting mostly disadvantaged students away from the educational and career flexibility afforded by general academic courses. We study the effects of a nationwide high school reform in Norway that aimed to move beyond this tradeoff. Reform 94, implemented in one step in the fall of 1994, integrated more general education into the vocational track, offered vocational students a pathway to college through a supplementary semester of academic courses, and sought to improve the quality of the vocational track through greater access to apprenticeships. We identify the impacts of the reform through a difference-in-di...
 
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