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Discrimination in the lab: Does information trump appearance?

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  • Castillo, Marco
  • Petrie, Ragan

Abstract

Using a laboratory experiment, we find evidence consistent with statistical discrimination in a public good and group formation game. In the game, payoff relevant information is presented to subjects, thereby making it costly to discriminate when choosing group members. We find that behavior is correlated with race and people use race to predict behavior. However, race only matters when information on behavior is absent. These results are further confirmed when incentives are in place to encourage behavior that is counter to stereotypes. Not all subjects discriminate in the same way, suggesting unfamiliarity and some in-group, out-group bias. Overall, the evidence points to a lack of information rather than discriminatory preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 68 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 50-59

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:68:y:2010:i:1:p:50-59

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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Cited by:
  1. Rödin, Magnus & Özcan, Gülay, 2011. "Is It How You Look or Speak That Matters? - An Experimental Study Exploring the Mechanisms of Ethnic Discrimination," Research Papers in Economics 2011:12, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  2. David L. Dickinson & Ronald L. Oaxaca, 2012. "Wages, Employment, and Statistical Discrimination: Evidence from the Laboratory," Working Papers 12-03, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  3. Magnus Rodin & Gulay Ozcan, 2013. "Is It How You Look or Speak That Matters? “An Experimental Study Exploring the Mechanisms of Ethnic Discrimination”," Working Papers 009, Bahcesehir University, Betam.
  4. Adeline Delavande & Basit Zafar, 2011. "Stereotypes and madrassas: experimental evidence from Pakistan," Staff Reports 501, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  5. Lise Vesterlund, 2011. "Gender Differences in Bargaining Outcomes: A Field Experiment on Discrimination," Working Papers 450, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2011.
  6. Rödin, Magnus & Özcan, Gülay, 2011. "Is It How You Look or Speak That Matters? - An Experimental Study Exploring the Mechanisms of Ethnic Discrimination," SULCIS Working Papers 2011:3, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  7. Nikiforakis, Nikos & Oechssler, Jörg & Shah, Anwar, 2012. "Hierarchy, Coercion, and Exploitation: An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 0530, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  8. Kai A. Konrad & Tim Lohse & Salmai Qari, 2013. "Dubious Versus Trustworthy Faces - What Difference Does it Make for Tax Compliance?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4373, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. David Masclet & Emmanuel Peterle & Sophie Larribeau, 2012. "The Role of Information in Deterring Discrimination: A New Experimental Evidence of Statistical Discrimination," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201238, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.

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