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Determining the Extent of Statistical Discrimination: Evidence from a field experiment in India

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  • Islam, Asadul
  • Pakrashi, Debayan
  • Wang, Liang Choon
  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

In order to determine the relative size of taste-based and statistical discrimination, we develop a simple model to distinguish these two theories. We then test the model's predictions of caste-based discrimination by conducting a field experiment that elicits patients' rankings of physicians of different castes and years of experience in the healthcare market in India. We also run a survey and conduct lab-in-the-field experiments to measure patients' attitudes towards different caste groups. We find that 47 to 80 percent of patients statistically discriminate physicians. The overwhelming size of statistical discrimination has important implications for the use of Affirmative Action policies in India.

Suggested Citation

  • Islam, Asadul & Pakrashi, Debayan & Wang, Liang Choon & Zenou, Yves, 2018. "Determining the Extent of Statistical Discrimination: Evidence from a field experiment in India," CEPR Discussion Papers 12955, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12955
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    Cited by:

    1. Islam, Asad & Pakrashi, Debayan & Vlassopoulos, Michael & Wang, Liang Choon, 2021. "Stigma and misconceptions in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic: A field experiment in India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 278(C).
    2. Islam, Asad & Pakrashi, Debayan & Sahoo, Soubhagya & Wang, Liang Choon & Zenou, Yves, 2021. "Gender inequality and caste: Field experimental evidence from India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 111-124.
    3. Siddique, Abu & Vlassopoulos, Michael & Zenou, Yves, 2020. "Market Competition and Discrimination," IZA Discussion Papers 13269, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Paul Frijters & Asad Islam & Chitwan Lalji & Debayan Pakrashi, 2019. "Roommate effects in health outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(8), pages 998-1034, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    caste; discrimination; field experiment; health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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