HKS Authors

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We investigate whether increased racial diversity of clinical trial principal investigators could increase the enrollment of Black patients, which currently lags population and disease-burden shares. We conducted a survey experiment in which respondents were shown a photo of a current NIH investigator in which race (Black/White) was randomized. Sex was also randomized as a relevant benchmark. Black respondents reported 0.35 standard deviation units higher interest in participating in a clinical study led by a race concordant investigator (a 12.6% increase). Sex concordance had no effect. Further analyses indicate that perceived trustworthiness and attractiveness are the most important factors explaining these results.


Alsan, Marcella, Romaine A. Campbell, Lukas Leister, and Ayotomiwa Ojo. "Investigator Racial Diversity and Clinical Trial Participation." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP23-029, October 2023.