THE EFFECTS ON U.S. NAVY DIVERSITY WITH THE REMOVAL OF OFFICER PHOTOS FROM PROMOTION SELECTION BOARDS
Peralta, Jessie N.
Ahn, Sae Young
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Since 2016, the photographs of officers being considered for selection have been removed and reinstated twice in the Officer Promotion Selection Boards (PSB), making PSBs an ideal setting to detect whether implicit or explicit bias occurs in the U.S. Navy. Using data from Defense Manpower Data Center and PSBs, I specify linear probability models to estimate the promotion outcomes of minority and female officers before and after the policy change of masking officer photos from the board. This study is similar to civilian studies on taste-based and statistical discrimination, such as blind auditions. I find that promotion outcomes are not statistically significantly changing in relation to the policy change. However, when controlling for the interaction of the photo masking policy and an indicator for minority, minorities are significantly less likely to promote to commander. I also utilize the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of the board to analyze its effect on promotion of minorities and women separately. I find that board composition does have a statistically significant impact on minorities’ promotion to lieutenant commander. On the other hand, I do not find that board composition has a significant effect on minorities’ promotions to commander and captain. Ultimately, however, due to the limitations of zone status and FITREP information in the data, this study is unable to confirm or disprove whether masking photos hurts diversity and inclusion.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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