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« L'économie des discriminations » peut-elle se passer d'une « philosophie économique des discriminations ? »

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Since the 1950's, Nobel Prize economists such as Akerlof, Arrow, Becker, Heckman, Phelps and Stiglitz have analyzed discrimination in an economic framework, essentially in "positive" perspective. The two seminal models – Becker's model based on a "taste for discrimination" and Arrow and Phelps' theories of "statistical discrimination" – give two different answers to the implicit question of efficiency. Discrimination is inefficient – by assumption – in Becker's work because it's a « non-monetary cost », whereas discrimination could be efficient – in some cases – in statistical discrimination models. When discrimination is efficient, the normative basis disappears and no political recommendations could be made. The eficiency criterion is not sufficient to analyze discrimination both in a « positive » and in a « normative » perspective. The paper discusses two principles to renew this analysis : 1) individuals make choice using normative criteria ; 2) the non-discrimination principle is lexically prior to an efficiency criterion.

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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 12068.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:12068

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Keywords: Discrimination; statistical discrimination; normative economics; positive economics.;

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  1. Ayres, Ian & Siegelman, Peter, 1995. "Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New Car," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 304-21, June.
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