IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/kyklos/v57y2004i3p457-470.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Deceptive Field Experiments of Discrimination: Are they Ethical?

Author

Listed:
  • Peter A. Riach
  • Judith Rich

Abstract

Field experiments in which bogus pairs of transactors test for discrimination by applying for employment or housing, or by trading in product markets, have been widely‐published during the last decade. However, no detailed justification has been provided for the deception involved. The general lack of veracity in the market‐place, the social harm inflicted by discrimination and the superior accuracy and transparency of this technique justify deceiving the subjects of experiments. Deception of testers, however, may do them harm, contravenes the ethical standards of psychologists and sociologists and is unnecessary, as alternative procedures are available to deal with ‘experimenter effects’. Im letzten Jahrzehnt wurden viele Feldexperimente publiziert, in denen Paare von vorgetäuschten Akteuren die Diskriminierung bei der Arbeits‐ oder Wohnungssuche oder bei Transaktionen auf Produktmärkten testen sollten. Es wurde aber keine detaillierte Rechtfertigung für die Täuschung erbracht, die mit diesen Experimenten verbunden ist. Das generelle Fehlen von Wahrhaftigkeit im Marktgeschehen, die sozialen Schäden, die durch Diskriminierung entstehen, sowie die besondere Genauigkeit und Transparenz dieser Methode rechtfertigen es, die Subjekte der Experimente zutäuschen. Hingegen kann die Täuschung der Tester diesen Schaden zufügen, widerspricht den ethischen Standards von Psychologen und Soziologen und ist unnötig, da alternative Methoden zur Verfügung stehen, um mit ‘Experimentiereffekten’ umzugehen. Ces dix dernières années, nombreux ont été les ouvrages publiés traitant de discrimination, mise en lumière par des tests menés par des couples de faux candidats à des emplois, des logements, ou des transactions commerciales. Cependant, aucune justification détaillée n'a été avancée pour la duperie liée à ces tests. Le manque général de véracité de l'économie de marché, le dommage social occasionné par une quelconque discrimination ainsi que la précision de cette technique justifient le fait de tromper les sujets de ces tests. Le fait de tromper les testeurs par contre peut leur nuire, est contraire à l'éthique des psychologues et sociologues, et est de plus superflu. En effet, il existe des procédures alternatives qui permettent de gérer les effets de l'expérience.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter A. Riach & Judith Rich, 2004. "Deceptive Field Experiments of Discrimination: Are they Ethical?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 457-470, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:57:y:2004:i:3:p:457-470
    DOI: 10.1111/j.0023-5962.2004.00262.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0023-5962.2004.00262.x
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/j.0023-5962.2004.00262.x?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kurt W. Rothschild, 1993. "Ethics And Economic Theory," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 379.
    2. Michael Fix & Raymond Struyk, 1993. "Clear and convincing evidence: Measurement of discrimination in america," Natural Field Experiments 00241, The Field Experiments Website.
    3. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2004. "Is It Sex or Personality? The Impact of Sex Stereotypes on Discrimination in Applicant Selection," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 159-186, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. David Neumark, 2016. "Experimental Research on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2015. "Testing for Discrimination against Lesbians of Different Marital Status: A Field Experiment," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 131-161, January.
    3. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2013. "Discrimination in gay and lesbian lives," Chapters, in: Deborah M. Figart & Tonia L. Warnecke (ed.), Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life, chapter 15, pages 236-254, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. David Neumark, 2018. "Experimental Research on Labor Market Discrimination," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 799-866, September.
    5. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2006. "Using Matched Employer–Employee Data to Study Labor Market Discrimination," Chapters, in: William M. Rodgers III (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Discrimination, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Ian Burn & Patrick Button & Luis Felipe Munguia Corella & David Neumark, 2019. "Older Workers Need Not Apply? Ageist Language in Job Ads and Age Discrimination in Hiring," NBER Working Papers 26552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Beaurain, Guillaume & Masclet, David, 2016. "Does affirmative action reduce gender discrimination and enhance efficiency? New experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 350-362.
    8. Weichselbaumer Doris, 2017. "Discrimination Against Migrant Job Applicants in Austria: An Experimental Study," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 237-265, May.
    9. François Bonnet & Etienne Lalé & Mirna Safi & Etienne Wasmer, 2015. "Better residential than ethnic discrimination!," Sciences Po publications 38 bis, Sciences Po.
    10. Jacquemet, Nicolas & Yannelis, Constantine, 2012. "Indiscriminate discrimination: A correspondence test for ethnic homophily in the Chicago labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 824-832.
    11. S. Baert & B. Cockx & N. Gheyle & C. Vandamme, 2013. "Do Employers Discriminate Less if Vacancies Are Difficult to Fill? Evidence From a Field Experiment," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 13/830, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    12. Marco FUGAZZA, 2003. "Racial discrimination: Theories, facts and policy," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 142(4), pages 507-541, December.
    13. Riach Peter A & Rich Judith, 2006. "An Experimental Investigation of Sexual Discrimination in Hiring in the English Labor Market," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-22, January.
    14. Stefan Eriksson & Per Johansson & Sophie Langenskiöld, 2017. "What is the right profile for getting a job? A stated choice experiment of the recruitment process," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 803-826, September.
    15. Stijn Baert & Sunčica Vujić, 2018. "Does it pay to care? Volunteering and employment opportunities," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 819-836, July.
    16. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst, 2003. "Why labour market experiments?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-406, August.
    17. Bidisha Lahiri, 2018. "Racial Earnings Disparities with Endogenous Labor Market Participation," Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 16-25, July.
    18. Slonim, Robert & Guillen, Pablo, 2010. "Gender selection discrimination: Evidence from a Trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 385-405, November.
    19. Lina Aldén & Mats Hammarstedt & Hanna Swahnberg, 2020. "Sexual Orientation and Job Satisfaction: Survey-Based Evidence from Sweden," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 69-101, June.
    20. Drydakis, Nick & Sidiropoulou, Katerina & Patnaik, Swetketu & Selmanovic, Sandra & Bozani, Vasiliki, 2017. "Masculine vs Feminine Personality Traits and Women's Employment Outcomes in Britain: A Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 11179, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:57:y:2004:i:3:p:457-470. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0023-5962 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0023-5962 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.