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Identidad social y estereotipos por color de piel: aspiraciones y desempeño en jóvenes mexicanos


  • Raymundo M. Campos Vázquez

    () (El Colegio de México)

  • Eduardo M. Medina Cortina

    () (El Colegio de México)


This article analyzes the effect of skin color stereotypes on the performance and aspirations of young Mexicans. We conducted a field experiment with 1,092 students in middle schools in Mexico City. Each student solved a test to measure cognitive abilities and a questionnaire about future aspirations. The experimental design consisted of randomly revealing information before performing the test. The control group did not receive any information. Treatment 1 received twelve images of public characters with light or white skin color prior taking the test, treatment 2 received a color palette to self-assess skin color and treatment 3 received both the mosaic of images and the palette of colors. The results reveal that the group that received both the images and the color palette presented a lower level of aspirations towards the future (0.26 standard deviations) than the control group. These effects come from women suggesting they are more sensitive to the negative effect of stereotypes.

Suggested Citation

  • Raymundo M. Campos Vázquez & Eduardo M. Medina Cortina, 2017. "Identidad social y estereotipos por color de piel: aspiraciones y desempeño en jóvenes mexicanos," Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos 2017-05, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos.
  • Handle: RePEc:emx:ceedoc:2017-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Afridi, Farzana & Li, Sherry Xin & Ren, Yufei, 2015. "Social identity and inequality: The impact of China's hukou system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 17-29.
    2. Eva O. Arceo-Gomez & Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez, 2014. "Race and Marriage in the Labor Market: A Discrimination Correspondence Study in a Developing Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 376-380, May.
    3. Hoff, Karla & Pandey, Priyanka, 2014. "Making up people—The effect of identity on performance in a modernizing society," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 118-131.
    4. Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    6. Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2016. "The Production of Human Capital in Developed Countries: Evidence from 196 Randomized Field Experiments," NBER Working Papers 22130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. David McKenzie, 2005. "Measuring inequality with asset indicators," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 229-260, June.
    8. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
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    More about this item


    stereotype; school performance; aspirations; teenagers; gender; Mexico.;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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