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Discrimination In A Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach

  • Chaim Fershtman
  • Uri Gneezy

This paper proposes an experimental approach to studying different aspects of discrimination. We let participants play various games with opponents of distinct ethnic affiliation. Strategies based upon such ethnic affiliation provide direct evidence of ethnic discrimination. This approach was utilized to study ethnic discrimination in Israeli Jewish society. Using the "trust game," we detected a systematic mistrust toward men of Eastern origin. A "dictator game" experiment indicated that this discrimination was due to (mistaken) ethnic stereotypes and not to a "taste for discrimination." The "ultimatum game" enabled us to trace another ethnic stereotype that reversed the discrimination's direction. One of the surprising results is that this ethnic discrimination is an entirely male phenomenon. © 2000 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 116 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 351-377

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:1:p:351-377
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  1. William A. Darity & Patrick L. Mason, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Employment: Codes of Color, Codes of Gender," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 63-90, Spring.
  2. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
  3. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 2001. "Chivalry and Solidarity in Ultimatum Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 171-88, April.
  4. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  5. Holm, Hakan J., 2000. "Gender-Based Focal Points," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 292-314, August.
  6. Helen F. Ladd, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Mortgage Lending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 41-62, Spring.
  7. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  8. Guth, Werner, 1995. "On ultimatum bargaining experiments -- A personal review," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 329-344, August.
  9. Bolton, Gary E. & Katok, Elena, 1995. "An experimental test for gender differences in beneficent behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 287-292, June.
  10. Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho, 1999. "Experience-weighted Attraction Learning in Normal Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 827-874, July.
  11. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
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