What is needed to gain support for effective algorithms in hiring, etc?

from Market Design at https://bit.ly/3UNBJ0N on September 29, 2022 at 01:11PM

 Here’s an experiment motivated in part by European regulations on transparency of algorithms.

Aversion to Hiring Algorithms: Transparency, Gender Profiling, and Self-Confidence  by Marie-Pierre Dargnies, Rustamdjan Hakimov and Dorothea Kübler

Abstract: "We run an online experiment to study the origins of algorithm aversion. Participants are either in the role of workers or of managers. Workers perform three real-effort tasks: task 1, task 2, and the job task which is a combination of tasks 1 and 2. They choose whether the hiring decision between themselves and another worker is made either by a participant in the role of a manager or by an algorithm. In a second set of experiments, managers choose whether they want to delegate their hiring decisions to the algorithm. In the baseline treatments, we observe that workers choose the manager more often than the algorithm, and managers also prefer to make the hiring decisions themselves rather than delegate them to the algorithm. When the algorithm does not use workers’ gender to predict their job task performance and workers know this, they choose the algorithm more often. Providing details on how the algorithm works does not increase the preference for the algorithm, neither for workers nor for managers. Providing feedback to managers about their performance in hiring the best workers increases their preference for the algorithm, as managers are, on average, overconfident."

"Our experiments are motivated by the recent debates in the EU over the legal requirements for algorithmic decisions. Paragraph 71 of the preamble to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires data controllers to prevent discriminatory effects of algorithms processing sensitive personal data. Articles 13 and 14 of the GDPR state that, when profiling takes place, people have the right to “meaningful information about the logic involved” (Goodman and Flaxman 2017). While the GDPR led to some expected effects, e.g., privacy-oriented consumers opting out of the use of cookies (Aridor et al. 2020), the discussion over the transparency requirements and the constraints on profiling is still ongoing. Recently, the European Parliament came up with the Digital Services Act (DSA), which proposes further increasing the requirements for algorithm disclosure and which explicitly requires providing a profiling-free option to users, together with a complete ban on the profiling of minors. Our first treatment that focuses on the workers aims at identifying whether making the algorithm gender-blind and therefore unable to use gender to discriminate, as advised in the preamble of the GDPR and further strengthened in the proposed DSA, increases its acceptance by the workers. The second treatment is a direct test of the importance of the transparency of the algorithm for the workers. When the algorithm is made transparent in our setup, it becomes evident which gender is favored. This can impact algorithm aversion differently for women and men, for example if workers’ preferences are mainly driven by payoff maximization.

"The treatments focusing on the managers’ preferences aim at understanding why some firms are more reluctant than others to make use of hiring algorithms. One possible explanation for not adopting such algorithms is managerial overconfidence. Overconfidence is a common bias, and its effect on several economic behaviors has been demonstrated (Camerer et al. 1999, Dunning et al. 2004, Malmendier and Tate 2005, Dargnies et al. 2019). In our context, overconfidence is likely to induce managers to delegate the hiring decisions to the algorithm too seldom. Managers who believe they make better hiring decisions than they actually do, may prefer to make the hiring decisions themselves. Our paper will provide insights about the effect of overconfidence on the delegation of hiring decisions to algorithms. Similar to the treatments about the preferences of workers, we are also interested in the effect of the transparency of the algorithm on the managers’ willingness to delegate the hiring decisions. Disclosing the details of the algorithm can increase the managers’ trust in the algorithm."