Gender Quotas in Hiring Committees: a Boon or a Bane for Women?
Paris : Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques
Sciences Po LIEPP Working Paper : 82
Economics of gender, Discrimination
Following in the footsteps of similar initiatives at the boardroom level in Norway and other European countries, the French government decided to impose a gender quota in academic hiring committees in 2015. The goal of this paper is to evaluate how this reform changed the way women are ranked by these committees. The reform aﬀected academic disciplines heterogeneously. I contrast the eﬀect of the reform between ﬁelds that were signiﬁcantly aﬀected, and those that already respected the quota before the reform. Drawing on a unique dataset made up of administrative data provided by French universities, I show that the reform signiﬁcantly worsened both the probability of being hired and the ranks of women, with a treatment eﬀect equivalent to a 4 standard deviation drop in h-index. There is evidence that this is driven mainly by the reaction of men to the reform, since the negative eﬀect of the reform is concentrated in committees that are helmed by men.