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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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    3. Chen Liang & Jing Peng & Yili Hong & Bin Gu, 2023. "The Hidden Costs and Benefits of Monitoring in the Gig Economy," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 34(1), pages 297-318, March.
    4. Ayaita, Adam, 2021. "Labor Market Discrimination and Statistical Differences in Unobserved Characteristics of Applicants," EconStor Preprints 236615, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    5. Ilić, Dragan, 2018. "Prejudice in naturalization decisions: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 1-18.
    6. Lippens, Louis & Baert, Stijn & Derous, Eva, 2021. "Loss aversion in taste-based employee discrimination: Evidence from a choice experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 208(C).
    7. Gallen, Yana & Wasserman, Melanie, 2023. "Does information affect homophily?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 222(C).
    8. Mauro Caselli & Paolo Falco, 2020. "As long as they are cheap. Experimental evidence on the demand for migrant workers," Discussion Papers 20-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    9. Hou, Yue & Liu, Chuyu & Crabtree, Charles, 2020. "Anti-muslim bias in the Chinese labor market," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 235-250.
    10. Elisabeth Tovar & Mathieu Bunel, 2019. "Profit vs morality: how unfair is labor market discrimination? Results from a survey experiment," Post-Print hal-02459378, HAL.
    11. Alexandre Mas & Amanda Pallais, 2017. "Valuing Alternative Work Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(12), pages 3722-3759, December.
    12. Marius Brülhart & Gian-Paolo Klinke & Andrea Marcucci & Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig, 2023. "Price and Prejudice: Housing Rents Reveal Racial Animus," CESifo Working Paper Series 10369, CESifo.
    13. Élisabeth Tovar & Matthieu Bunel, 2021. "Attitudes on past-in-present educational discrimination. Insights from a representative factorial survey," EconomiX Working Papers 2021-28, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    14. Broockman, David E. & Soltas, Evan J., 2020. "A natural experiment on discrimination in elections," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    15. Achard, Pascal & Suetens, Sigrid, 2023. "The Causal Effect of Ethnic Diversity on Support for Redistribution and the Role of Discrimination," Other publications TiSEM a5e6e0cd-5e07-4a24-a15c-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    16. Elena Cettolin & Sigrid Suetens, 2019. "Return on Trust is Lower for Immigrants," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(621), pages 1992-2009.
    17. Halla, Martin & Kah, Christopher & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2021. "Testing for Ethnic Discrimination in Outpatient Health Care: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Germany," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 319, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    18. Mongoljin Batsaikhan & Mette Goertz & John Kennes & Ran Sun Lyng & Daniel Monte & Norovsambuu Tumennasan, 2021. "Discrimination and Daycare Choice: Evidence from a Randomized Survey," CEBI working paper series 19-14, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    19. Schütt, Christoph A. & Pipke, David & Detlefsen, Lena & Grimalda, Gianluca, 2023. "Does ethnic heterogeneity decrease workers’ effort in the presence of income redistribution? An experimental analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    20. Bajzíková, Stanislava & Cingl, Lubomír, 2023. "Measuring stereotypes in effort tasks: A multiple-price list approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 105(C).
    21. Élisabeth Tovar & Matthieu Bunel, 2019. "Profit vs morality: how unfair is labor market discrimination? Results from a survey experiment," Working Papers hal-04141860, HAL.
    22. Mongoljin Batsaikhan & Mette Gørtz & John Kennes & Ran Sun Lyng & Daniel Monte & Norovsambuu Tumennasan, 2019. "Daycare Choice and Ethnic Diversity: Evidence from a Randomized Survey," Economics Working Papers 2019-02, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    23. Lange, Andreas & Miniesy, Rania & Nicklisch, Andreas & Rabie, Dina & Bock, Olaf & Ross, Johannes, 2023. "Sharing norms and negotiations across cultures: Experimental interactions within and between Egypt and Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 210(C), pages 412-440.
    24. Achard, Pascal & Suetens, Sigrid, 2023. "The Causal Effect of Ethnic Diversity on Support for Redistribution and the Role of Discrimination," Discussion Paper 2023-013, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    25. Emma von Essen & Jonas Karlsson, 2019. "The effect of competition on discrimination in online markets—Anonymity and selection," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(8), pages 1-18, August.

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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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