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Market competition and discrimination

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  • Siddique, Abu
  • Vlassopoulos, Michael
  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of competition on ethnic discrimination by carrying out a field experiment in the context of the rice market in Bangladesh. We recruit professional rice buyers (middlemen) to act as judges in a rice competition by providing a quality rating and a price quote for rice samples that we randomly associate with farmers bearing ethnic majority or minority names. First, we find that there is no ethnic difference in buyers’ evaluation of rice quality. Second, we find that local buyers, who have local monopsony power, discriminate against ethnic minority farmers by quoting a lower price for their rice relative to that of ethnic majority farmers. Third, we find that wholesale buyers, who face fierce competition in the marketplace, do not price discriminate against ethnic minority farmers. A second lab-in-the-field experiment and survey information indicate that both local and wholesale buyers are prejudiced against ethnic minority farmers. This suggests that market competition can eliminate the discrimination of wholesale buyers.

Suggested Citation

  • Siddique, Abu & Vlassopoulos, Michael & Zenou, Yves, 2023. "Market competition and discrimination," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:152:y:2023:i:c:s0014292122002410
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2022.104361
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Discrimination; Market competition; Ethnicity; Rice market; Bangladesh; Field experiments;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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