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The Nature and Extent of Discrimination in the Marketplace: Evidence from the Field

  • John A. List

Empirical studies have provided evidence that discrimination exists in various markets, but they rarely allow the analyst to draw conclusions concerning the nature of discrimination. By combining data from bilateral negotiations in the sportscard market with complementary field experiments, this study provides a framework that amends this shortcoming. The experimental design, which includes data gathered from more than 1100 market participants, provides sharp findings: (i) there is a strong tendency for minorities to receive initial and final offers that are inferior to those received by majorities, and (ii) overall, the data indicate that the observed discrimination is not due to animus, but represents statistical discrimination. © 2004 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): 119 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 49-89

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:1:p:49-89
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  1. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2002. "Discrimination by Gender and Social Distance," Research Papers in Economics 2002:2, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  2. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, . "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," IPR working papers 97-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
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  7. Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," Scholarly Articles 3043406, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71, February.
  9. Peter C. Cramton, 1991. "Dynamic Bargaining with Transaction Costs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(10), pages 1221-1233, October.
  10. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
  13. 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.
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  15. John A. List, 2004. "Testing Neoclassical Competitive Theory in Multilateral Decentralized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1131-1156, October.
  16. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
  17. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  18. Ayres, Ian & Siegelman, Peter, 1995. "Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New Car," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 304-21, June.
  19. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1996. "Dealer Price Discrimination in New Car Purchases: Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 622-54, June.
  20. repec:feb:framed:0081 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. John Yinger, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Consumer Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 23-40, Spring.
  22. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
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