7 November, 2022 4:00 pm–6:00 pm
Matt Lowe

Affiliation:  University of British Columbia

Title:  "Do Virtue Signals Signal Virtue?", with Deivis Angeli and The VSE Team.

Abstract: We study whether tweets about racial justice predict the offline behaviours of nearly 20,000 US academics. In an audit study, academics that did not tweet about racial justice recently (Silent academics) are 15% less likely to accept a meeting with a Black student than with a white student. Vocal academics are instead 6% more likely to accept a meeting with a Black student. The difference in discrimination is similar after adding controls, suggesting that racial justice tweets provide useful information even for those that know an academic well. Vocal academics are roughly 70% more likely to have made political contributions, but they are no more likely to have supported Georgia's Raphael Warnock than Jon Ossoff. Finally, guided by theory, we show how the informativeness of tweets varies with audience size, reputational concerns, and social pressure