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An alternative to statistical discrimination theory

Author

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  • Ariane Szafarz

    () (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Solvay Business School, Centre Emile Bernheim)

Abstract

This paper offers a new representation of discrimination on the job market based on the most recent findings in the socio-psychological academic literature about human behaviour. Put it simply, it is assumed that the agents prefer working with people like themselves. This "affinity" principle is modelled through a distance between an individual (the candidate for a job) and the staff of the firm. Contrary to the classical view according to which discrimination results from asymmetric information, this new model provides a rationale for the presence of discriminative attitudes on the job market even when full information is available on the skill levels of all candidates for a working position.

Suggested Citation

  • Ariane Szafarz, 2008. "An alternative to statistical discrimination theory," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(5), pages 1-6.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-08j70001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1998. "What Has Economics to Say about Racial Discrimination?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 91-100.
    2. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 659-661.
    3. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 991-1013.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 991-1013.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sekkat, Khalid & Szafarz, Ariane & Tojerow, Ilan, 2015. "Women at the Top in Developing Countries: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 9537, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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