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“Discovering Diverse Talent: Theory and Evidence from the RISE Program”

with Kadeem Noray (NBER)

September 14, 2023, 6:30pm


In this project, I evaluate the tradeoffs of alternative talent screening and selection methods in the context of a new talent investment program called Rise. I find that, relative to traditional metrics, peer assessments of application materials would have screened equally talented applicants while increasing gender representation, regional representation, and poor country representation. To test whether this comes from local knowledge of peers, I explore whether peer reviewers who are demographically similar do a better job of assessing applicant talent. To quantify the size of the diversity improvement, I leverage tools from computer science to estimate the diversity-talent selection possibilities frontier of this applicant pool and find that using peer reviews reduces distance to the frontier by 8 percentage points relative to a traditional screening algorithm.”

Speaker Bio:

Kadeem Noray is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Research Associate at Opportunity Insights at Harvard University, and a research advisor at Schmidt Futures. Kadeem’s research focuses on how talent markets function. Kadeem is also interested in labor economics and public economics more broadly. His work has been published in academic journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Kadeem earned his PhD in Public Policy (Economics Track) from Harvard University in 2023, an MS in Applied Economics from Montana State University in 2017 and a BS in Mathematics, Economics, and Physics at Hillsdale College in 2015.