HKS Affiliated Authors


September 21, 2022, Paper: "While significant scholarship has documented the prevalence of racial discrimination in hiring, less is known about the forces that exacerbate or mitigate it. In this article, we develop a theoretical argument about the ability of customers to influence racial discrimination in hiring, highlighting the role of direct customer communication and its intersection with online review systems. We deploy a novel method to test our argument. Specifically, we draw on original data from a two-part field experiment that first randomly assigned restaurants to receive one of three different email messages from customers and then audited the restaurants to test for racial discrimination in hiring. While our data collection effort was cut short and disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, making our findings more exploratory than initially anticipated, our data provide evidence that customer communication can reduce racial discrimination under certain conditions. We discuss the implications of these findings for scholarship on organizational decision-making, discrimination, and methodological approaches for studying these topics." Read Via Sage Publications

Non-HKS Harvard Faculty Author - David Pedulla