No disabled student left behind? - Evidence from a social field experiment
AbstractWe conduct a field experiment to study if student counseling offices discriminate against disabled students based on their impairment. The offices receive randomized emails from fictitious high-school graduates, requesting information on the admission process and special accommodations to ease studying. Responses are evaluated using content analysis, allowing us to examine different theoretical mechanisms how discriminative behaviour can emerge. Results show that students with depression or dyslexia are discriminated against compared to students with physical impairments. We find no evidence for taste-based or statistical discrimination. Instead, results indicate that general information deficits about health conditions exist, leading to non-purposeful discrimination. Psychological and learning impairments are not recognized as disabilities and counselors are unaware of the limitations they entail. If discrimination translates into lower access to higher education and a lower probability to graduate, disadvantages for disabled individuals on the labor market are reinforced.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1336.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Higher education; disability; discrimination; field experiment; content analysis;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
- I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-11-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2013-11-29 (Education)
- NEP-EXP-2013-11-29 (Experimental Economics)
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