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Published on Sep 9, 2011
Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School
Item Summary: In this presentation, Iris Bohnet, Professor of Public Policy at HKS and Director of the Women and Public Policy Program, applies the behavioral economics concept of a "nudge" to questions of gender equality and diversity. She discusses how hiring processes can be changed to increase diversity and how gender diversity in groups affects performance. Specifically, using experiments, her work explores how hiring in bundles as compared to hiring one at a time sequentially affects the choices people make, how comparison information focuses people's attention on more objective criteria such as past performance as compared to stereotypical judgments, and shows how the gender balance in groups creates informational (dis-)advantages that affect the minority and majority group's work performance. Her presentation builds on joint work with Max Bazerman, HBS, Alexandra van Geen, HKS, and Farsad Saidi, NYU.