Algorithmic bias? An empirical study into apparent gender-based discrimination in the display of STEM career ads

Lambrecht, A and Tucker, C E (2019) Algorithmic bias? An empirical study into apparent gender-based discrimination in the display of STEM career ads. Management Science. ISSN 0025-1909 (In Press)

Abstract

We explore data from a field test of how an algorithm delivered ads promoting job opportunities in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. This ad was explicitly intended to be gender-neutral in its delivery. Empirically, however, fewer women saw the ad than men. This happened because younger women are a prized demographic and are more expensive to show ads to. An algorithm which simply optimizes cost-effectiveness in ad delivery will deliver ads that were intended to be gender-neutral in an apparently discriminatory way, due to crowding out. We show that this empirical regularity extends to other major digital platforms.

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Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Marketing
Additional Information: © 2019 INFORMS This manuscript has been accepted for publication in Management Science. The version of record can be found at https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2018.3093
Funder Name: National Science Foundation
Subjects: A > Advertising
A > Algorithms
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2018 11:55
Last Modified: 21 May 2019 14:43
URI: http://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/967
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