NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2019||Is Blinded Review Enough? How Gendered Outcomes Arise Even Under Anonymous Evaluation|
with Julian Kolev, Fiona Murray: w25759
For organizations focused on scientific research and innovation, workforce diversity is a key driver of success. Blinded review is an increasingly popular approach to reducing bias and increasing diversity in the selection of people and projects, yet its effectiveness is not fully understood. We explore the impact of blinded review on gender inclusion in a unique setting: innovative research grant proposals submitted to the Gates Foundation from 2008-2017. Despite blinded review, female applicants receive significantly lower scores, which cannot be explained by reviewer characteristics, proposal topics, or ex-ante measures of applicant quality. By contrast, the gender score gap is no longer significant after controlling for text-based measures of proposals’ titles and descriptions. Specifi...