Haruka Uchida

Welcome! I am a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Chicago.

You can email me at uchida [at] uchicago [dot] edu.

Working Papers

with Alec Brandon, Justin Holz, and Andrew Simon

When minimum wages increase, employers may respond to the regulatory burdens by substituting away from disadvantaged workers. We test this hypothesis using a correspondence study with 35,000 applications around ex-ante uncertain minimum wage increases in three U.S. states. Before the increases, applicants with distinctively Black names were 19 percent less likely to receive a callback than equivalent applicants with distinctively white names. Announcements of minimum wage hikes substantially reduce callbacks for all applicants but shrink the racial callback gap by 80 percent. Racial inequality decreases because firms disproportionately reduce callbacks to lower-quality white applicants who benefited from discrimination under lower minimum wages. 

*This project has been supported by a grant from the W.E. Upjohn Institute Early Career Research Award

W.E. Upjohn Policy brief 

Concealing candidate identities during evaluations, or "blinding", is often proposed as a tool for combatting discrimination. This paper studies how blinding impacts candidate selection and quality, and the forms of discrimination that drive these effects. I conduct a natural field experiment at an academic conference, running each submitted paper through both blind and non-blind review. Two years after the experiment, I collect measures of paper qualitycitations and journal-weighted publication statusfor each paper and link it to the experimental data. I find that blinding significantly reduces scores for traditionally high-scoring groups: applicants who are more senior (non-students), from top ranked institutions, and male. Blinding consequently alters the composition of applicants who are accepted to the conference. Despite these compositional changes, blinding does not worsen the conference's ability to select high-quality papers, and this is likely not driven by direct effects of the conference. I develop a model of evaluator discrimination that allows me to rationalize these effects and decompose non-blind disparities into two distinct forms of discrimination: accurate statistical discrimination and bias.

Winner of the 2023 UChicago Third Year Paper George S. Tolley Prize

Using a Field Experiment to Understand Skill Formation During Adolescence

with Juanna Joensen, John List, and Anya Samek

Seven Facts About the Racial Excellence Gap

with Uditi Karna, Andrew Simon, Min Sok Lee, and John List

Rising educational disparities and concomitant wealth inequities have been observed around the globe over the past several decades.  While those left behind have rightfully received considerable attention, much less scrutiny has been given to educational discrepancies in the deep right tail (i.e., top 1%). Using rich administrative longitudinal data, we document an "excellence gap," and provide seven key facts.  The seven facts provide vital temporal insights into the gap, link stability of excellence and student backgrounds, and assess the efficacy of previous public policies to curb the excellence gap. Building such scientific knowledge provides a crucial first step to target and eliminate excellence gaps, a necessary ingredient to broaden the racial pool of innovators and remove the glass ceiling in labor markets.