We study gender and race in high-impact entrepreneurship within a tightly controlled random field experiment. We sent out 80,000 pitch emails introducing promising but fictitious start-ups to 28,000 venture capitalists and business angels. Each email was sent by a fictitious entrepreneur with a randomly selected gender (male or female) and race (Asian or White). Female entrepreneurs received an 8% higher rate of interested replies than male entrepreneurs pitching identical projects. Asian entrepreneurs received a 6% higher rate than White entrepreneurs. Our results are not consistent with discrimination against females or Asians at the initial contact stage of the investment process.
Gender, Race, and Entrepreneurship: A Randomized Field Experiment on Venture Capitalist and Angels
Gornall, Will and Strebulaev, Ilya A., Gender, Race, and Entrepreneurship: A Randomized Field Experiment on Venture Capitalists and Angels (August 2019).