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Are the Disabled Discriminated Against in Product Markets? Evidence from Sportscards to Sportscars


  • John A. List
  • Uri Gneezy


Social scientists have presented evidence that suggests discrimination is ubiquitous—across several heterogeneous labor markets, as well as product markets as diverse as home insurance and new car sales, women, nonwhites, and the elderly have been found to be the target of discriminatory behavior. Yet one important issue that has been largely ignored is whether the disabled are discriminated against in the marketplace. This study experimentally examines whether the disabled are discriminated against in two distinct product markets: the sportscard market and the sportscar market. In the sportscard market we direct agents to enter the marketplace and attempt to sell a sportscard; we measure differential treatment by comparing initial and final offers received across the disabled and abled agents. In the latter market we direct agents to visit bodyshops to obtain an estimate to fix their car. Again, measured discrimination relates to the price dimension. Combining these data with complementary field experiments provides interesting insights into both the nature and extent of discrimination observed in these markets.

Suggested Citation

  • John A. List & Uri Gneezy, 2004. "Are the Disabled Discriminated Against in Product Markets? Evidence from Sportscards to Sportscars," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 651, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:651

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Myerson, Roger B, 1983. "Mechanism Design by an Informed Principal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1767-1797, November.
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    8. Forges, Francoise & Minelli, Enrico & Vohra, Rajiv, 2002. "Incentives and the core of an exchange economy: a survey," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 1-41, September.
    9. Roberto Serrano & Rajiv Vohra & Oscar Volij, 2001. "On the Failure of Core Convergence in Economies with Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1685-1696, November.
    10. de Clippel, Geoffroy, 2007. "The type-agent core for exchange economies with asymmetric information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 144-158, July.
    11. Aviad Heifetz & Françoise Forges & Enrico Minelli, 2001. "Incentive compatible core and competitive equilibria in differential information economies," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 18(2), pages 349-365.
    12. Vohra, Rajiv, 1999. "Incomplete Information, Incentive Compatibility, and the Core," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 123-147, May.
    13. Alexey Malakhov & Rakesh V. Vohra, 2004. "Single and Multi-Dimensional Optimal Auctions - A Network Approach," Discussion Papers 1397, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    14. Francoise Forges & Jean-Francois Mertens & Rajiv Vohra, 2002. "The Ex Ante Incentive Compatible Core in the Absence of Wealth Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1865-1892, September.
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    16. Wilson, Robert B, 1978. "Information, Efficiency, and the Core of an Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 807-816, July.
    17. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5454 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5451 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. David Neumark, 2012. "Detecting Discrimination in Audit and Correspondence Studies," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 1128-1157.
    2. Rich, Judy, 2014. "What Do Field Experiments of Discrimination in Markets Tell Us? A Meta Analysis of Studies Conducted since 2000," IZA Discussion Papers 8584, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Castillo, Marco & Petrie, Ragan, 2010. "Discrimination in the lab: Does information trump appearance?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 50-59, January.
    4. Klinner, Nicole S. & Walsh, Gianfranco, 2013. "Customer perceptions of discrimination in service deliveries: Construction and validation of a measurement instrument," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(5), pages 651-658.

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