Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of 'Blind' Auditions on Female Musicians
Authors: Goldin, Claudia
Rouse, Cecilia
Keywords: female
hiring practices
Issue Date: 1-Jan-1997
Citation: The American Economic Review, Vol. 90, No. 4, September, 2000
Series/Report no.: Working Papers (Princeton University. Industrial Relations Section) ; 376
Abstract: Discrimination against women has been alleged in hiring practices for many occupations, but it is extremely difficult to demonstrate sex-biased hiring. A change in the way symphony orchestras recruit musicians provides an unusual way to test for sex-biased hiring. To overcome possible biases in hiring, most orchestras revised their audition policies in the 1970s and 1980s. A major change involved the use of “blind” auditions with a “screen” to conceal the identity of the candidate from the jury. Female musicians in the top five symphony orchestras in the United States were less than 5% of all players in 1970 but are 25% today. We ask whether women were more likely to be advanced and/ or hired with the use of “blind” auditions. Using data from actual auditions in an individual fixed-effects framework, we find that the screen increases — by 50% — the probability a woman will be advanced out of certain preliminary rounds. The screen also enhances, by severalfold, the likelihood a female contestant will be the winner in the final round. Using data on orchestra personnel, the switch to “blind” auditions can explain between 30% and 55% of the increase in the proportion female among new hires and between 25% and 46% of the increase in the percentage female in the orchestras since 1970.
Related resource:
Appears in Collections:IRS Working Papers

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
376.pdf3.15 MBAdobe PDFView/Download

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.