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Field Experiments on Discrimination

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  • Bertrand, Marianne
  • Duflo, Esther

Abstract

This article reviews the existing field experimentation literature on the prevalence of discrimination, the consequences of such discrimination, and possible approaches to undermine it. We highlight key gaps in the literature and ripe opportunities for future field work. Section 1 reviews the various experimental methods that have been employed to measure the prevalence of discrimination, most notably audit and correspondence studies; it also describes several other measurement tools commonly used in lab-based work that deserve greater consideration in field research. Section 2 provides an overview of the literature on the costs of being stereotyped or discriminated against, with a focus on self-expectancy effects and self-fulfilling prophecies; section 2 also discusses the thin field-based literature on the consequences of limited diversity in organizations and groups. The final section of the paper, Section 3, reviews the evidence for policies and interventions aimed at weakening discrimination, covering role model and intergroup contact effects, as well as socio-cognitive and technological de-biasing strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertrand, Marianne & Duflo, Esther, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," CEPR Discussion Papers 11123, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11123
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    6. Chen, Daniel L. & Halberstam, Yosh & Yu, Alan, 2016. "Covering: Mutable Characteristics and Perceptions of Voice in the U.S. Supreme Court," TSE Working Papers 16-680, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Feb 2020.
    7. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2016. "Discrimination against Female Migrants Wearing Headscarves," IZA Discussion Papers 10217, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Chen, Daniel L. & Sethi, Jasmin, 2016. "Insiders, Outsiders, and Involuntary Unemployment: Sexual Harrassment Exacerbates Gender Inequality," TSE Working Papers 16-687, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
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    14. Mathieu Bunel & Samuel Gorohouna & Yannick l'Horty & Pascale Petit & Catherine Ris, 2016. "Discriminations Ethniques Dans L’Acces Au Logement: Une Experimentation En Nouvelle-Caledonie," Working Papers halshs-01374442, HAL.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • 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
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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