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Do Minorities Misrepresent Their Ethnicity to Avoid Discrimination?

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  • Nikoloz Kudashvili
  • Philipp Lergetporer

Abstract

Discrimination against minorities is pervasive in many societies, but little is known about minorities’ strategies to avoid being discriminated against. In our trust game among 758 high-school students in the country of Georgia, ethnic Georgian trustors discriminate against the ethnic Armenian minority group. We introduce an initial signaling stage to investigate Armenians’ willingness to hide their ethnicity to avoid expected discrimination. 43 percent of Armenian trustees untruthfully signal to have a Georgian name. Signaling behavior is driven by expected transfers and non-pecuniary motives. This strategic misrepresentation of ethnicity increases Georgian trustors’ expected back transfers and eliminates their discriminatory behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikoloz Kudashvili & Philipp Lergetporer, 2019. "Do Minorities Misrepresent Their Ethnicity to Avoid Discrimination?," CESifo Working Paper Series 7861, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7861
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    discrimination; trust game; experiment; signaling; adolescents;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General

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