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The Price of Prejudice

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  • Morten Størling Hedegaard
  • Jean-Robert Tyran

Abstract

We present a new type of field experiment to investigate ethnic prejudice in the workplace. Our design allows us to study how potential discriminators respond to changes in the cost of discrimination. We find that ethnic discrimination is common but highly responsive to the "price of prejudice," i.e., to the opportunity cost of choosing a less productive worker on ethnic grounds. Discriminators are on average willing to forego 8 percent of their earnings to avoid a coworker of the other ethnic type. The evidence suggests that animus rather than statistical discrimination explains observed behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Morten Størling Hedegaard & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2018. "The Price of Prejudice," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 40-63, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:40-63
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20150241
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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