In “When Harry Fired Sally: The Double Standard in Punishing Misconduct,” recently published as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, researchers explore how women working in the financial advisory industry are punished more severely than their male coworkers for similar misconduct.
The researchers—Gregor Matvos of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Amit Seru of Stanford University and Mark Egan of the University of Minnesota—acknowledge that such discrimination is less likely to draw widespread attention than issues such as the wage gap because claiming wrongful termination is often baseless. However, “it is only after observing that, on average, male advisers were not fired for similar transgressions that one can detect discrimination,” said Matvos, an associate professor of finance.
Following an incidence of misconduct, female advisers are 20 percent more likely to lose their jobs and 30 percent less likely to find new jobs relative to male advisers, according to the study.
The researchers’ data set contains all financial service employees registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority from 2005 to 2015, obtained…