IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/revaec/v31y2018i4d10.1007_s11138-018-0420-9.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The nature and limits of Gary Becker’s theory of racial discrimination

Author

Listed:
  • Sanford Ikeda

    (SUNY)

Abstract

To what extent does Gary Becker’s model of discrimination capture “the essence of prejudice and discrimination”? After providing a general outline of Becker’s original model and summarizing some subsequent developments, this paper takes a critical perspective on the model to suggest that the absence of imperfect information in his approach unhelpfully limits its explanatory power. Instead, an approach that allows for the possibility of genuine error and draws on Adam Smith’s analysis of the impact of markets on one’s moral sense offers a deeper, more realistic understanding of what it means for people to express their prejudice (or not) through their choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanford Ikeda, 2018. "The nature and limits of Gary Becker’s theory of racial discrimination," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 403-417, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:revaec:v:31:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11138-018-0420-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s11138-018-0420-9
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11138-018-0420-9
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s11138-018-0420-9?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
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Donald Dewey, 1952. "Negro Employment in Southern Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 279-279.
    2. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162, December.
    3. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
    4. Peter Lewin, 2000. "William Hutt and the Economics of Apartheid," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 255-264, September.
    5. Marshall, Ray, 1974. "The Economics of Racial Discrimination: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 849-871, September.
    6. Michael Ewens & Bryan Tomlin & Liang Choon Wang, 2014. "Statistical Discrimination or Prejudice? A Large Sample Field Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 119-134, March.
    7. Friedman, Milton, 1966. "Essays in Positive Economics," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226264035, December.
    8. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
    9. Anne O. Krueger, 1963. "The Economics of Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 481-481.
    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. Cléo Chassonnery-Zaïgouche, 2015. "Crossing Boundaries, Displacing Previous Knowledge and Claiming Superiority: Is the Economics of Discrimination a Conquest of Economics Imperialism?," STOREPapers 5_2015, Associazione Italiana per la Storia dell'Economia Politica - StorEP.
    2. Ghekiere, Abel & Verhaeghe, Pieter-Paul, 2022. "How does ethnic discrimination on the housing market differ across neighborhoods and real estate agencies?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C).
    3. Lopez Barrera, E., 2018. "Hispanics immigrants in the fields: is discrimination a barrier to get non-agricultural jobs?," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 276016, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Timothy Bates & William D. Bradford & Robert Seamans, 2018. "Minority entrepreneurship in twenty-first century America," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 415-427, March.
    5. Veisten, Knut, 2007. "Contingent valuation controversies: Philosophic debates about economic theory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 204-232, April.
    6. Jimena Hurtado, 2005. "The Utilitarian Foundations Of The Economic Approach To Human Behavior," Documentos CEDE 003633, Universidad de los Andes – Facultad de Economía – CEDE.
    7. Tjaden, Jasper Dag & Schwemmer, Carsten & Khadjavi, Menusch, 2018. "Ride with Me - Ethnic Discrimination, Social Markets and the Sharing Economy," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 418-432.
    8. Ravi Srivastava, 2019. "Emerging Dynamics of Labour Market Inequality in India: Migration, Informality, Segmentation and Social Discrimination," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 62(2), pages 147-171, June.
    9. Auspurg, Katrin & Hinz, Thomas & Schmid, Laura, 2017. "Contexts and conditions of ethnic discrimination: Evidence from a field experiment in a German housing market," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 26-36.
    10. Vanessa Scholes, 2014. "You Are Not Worth the Risk: Lawful Discrimination in Hiring," Rationality, Markets and Morals, Frankfurt School Verlag, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, vol. 5(82), February.
    11. Xin Meng & Dominique Meurs, 2001. "Différences de structure des emplois et écart salarial entre hommes et femmes en France," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 148(2), pages 113-126.
    12. Suresh Naidu, 2010. "Recruitment Restrictions and Labor Markets: Evidence from the Postbellum U.S. South," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 413-445, April.
    13. Carlsson, Magnus & Fumarco, Luca & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2013. "Artifactual Evidence of Discrimination in Correspondence Studies? A Replication of the Neumark Method," IZA Discussion Papers 7619, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Ruttan, Vernon W., 2006. "Social science knowledge and induced institutional innovation: an institutional design perspective," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 249-272, December.
    15. Phillip W. Magness, 2020. "The anti-discriminatory tradition in Virginia school public choice theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 183(3), pages 417-441, June.
    16. Goetz, Stephan J. & Debertin, David L. & Pagoulatos, Angelos, 1998. "Human Capital, Income, and Environmental Quality: A State-Level Analysis," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 200-208, October.
    17. Galbács, Péter, 2019. "A chicagonomics és a közgazdaságtan imperializmusa ["Chicagonomics" and the imperialism of economics]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 229-255.
    18. Bayer, Patrick & Casey, Marcus & Ferreira, Fernando & McMillan, Robert, 2017. "Racial and ethnic price differentials in the housing market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 91-105.
    19. Jan Hausfeld & Sven Resnjanskij, 2017. "Risky Decisions and the Opportunity Costs of Time," TWI Research Paper Series 108, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    20. Jackson William E. & Marino Louis & Naidoo Jefrey S. & Tucker Reginald, 2018. "Size Matters: The Impact of Loan Size on Measures of Disparate Treatment toward Minority Entrepreneurs in the Small Firm Credit Market," Entrepreneurship Research Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(4), pages 1-16, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gary Becker; Discrimination; Prejudice; Imperfect knowledge; Choice; Adam smith; Prudence;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • D89 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Other
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

    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:kap:revaec:v:31:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11138-018-0420-9. 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.springer.com .

    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: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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.