Noah Askin, INSEAD
Despite the large numbers of women trained and employed in creative fields, perceptions of creative achievement in the fields of art, music, and literature remain biased by gender. Most recent efforts to understand this puzzle focus on “demand-side” explanations: the extent to which audiences assign less value to creative products made by women. In contrast, this paper identifies the extent to which there is a gender gap in the novelty of creative products themselves. Using an exhaustive dataset comprised of nearly 500,000 songs written and released between 1955 and 2000, we (1) construct a measure of musical novelty and (2) investigate whether and when there are systematic differences in creative output by gender. We find that, while there is no mean difference in song novelty for male versus female artists, certain factors -- including artist tenure, success, category membership, organizational affiliation, and network size and composition -- create systematic inequalities in creative output. These results suggest that female artists are held to a higher bar then their male counterparts, and only the creative (women) survive.
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Cass Business School, 106 Bunhill Row
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Noah Askin is an Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD. Noah is interested in social and cultural networks, the antecedents and consequences of creativity and innovation, the production and consumption of culture, and the dynamics of organisational and individual status. His current research is divided among these interests in two streams. The first is around the creation and performance of cultural products: music chart and industry dynamics, what factors contribute to creativity, the tradeoffs associated with being innovative, the implications of the shift to digital distribution, and the analysis of culture using big data. The second area of research is around the role and impact of network- and rankings-based status on organisations. His work, which has garnered him recognition on the Thinkers 50 Radar list, has appeared in Administrative Science Quarterly, American Sociological Review, and computational social science publications, and it has been covered in The Economist, Forbes, Business Insider, Quartz.com, The Times of London, and music industry blogs. Prior to becoming a business school academic, Noah had a number of roles in the business and not-for-profit sectors. He was a management consultant for the Monitor Group, working in its strategy practice and its Executive Development group. This was followed by several years as an early member of a start-up in the educational services space. Noah received a joint PhD from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and its Sociology department. He also has an MA in Sociology from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Booth, as well as an AB in Psychology from Harvard University.