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The nature and extent of discrimination in the marketplace: Evidence from the field

  • John List

Empirical studies have provided evidence that discrimination exists in various markets, but they rarely allow the analyst to draw conclusions concerning the nature of discrimination. By combining data from bilateral negotiations in the sportscard market with complementary field experiments, this study provides a framework that amends this shortcoming. The experimental design, which includes data gathered from more than 1100 market participants, provides sharp findings: (i) there is a strong tendency for minorities to receive initial and final offers that are inferior to those received by majorities, and (ii) overall, the data indicate that the observed discrimination is not due to animus, but represents statistical discrimination.

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Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Natural Field Experiments with number 00299.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00299
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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  1. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2002. "Discrimination by Gender and Social Distance," Research Papers in Economics 2002:2, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
  3. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
  4. John A. List, 2004. "Testing Neoclassical Competitive Theory in Multilateral Decentralized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1131-1156, October.
  5. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  6. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, . "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," IPR working papers 97-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  7. repec:feb:framed:0081 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Judith Rich & Peter Riach, 2002. "Field experiments of discrimination in the market place," Natural Field Experiments 00328, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Peter C. Cramton, 1991. "Dynamic Bargaining with Transaction Costs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(10), pages 1221-1233, October.
  11. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  12. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination In A Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377, February.
  13. Akerlof, George A, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-75, June.
  14. Neumark, David, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-41, August.
  15. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
  16. John List, 2003. "Does market experience eliminate market anomalies?," Natural Field Experiments 00297, The Field Experiments Website.
  17. John Yinger, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Consumer Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 23-40, Spring.
  18. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  19. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
  20. Ayres, Ian & Siegelman, Peter, 1995. "Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New Car," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 304-21, June.
  21. David W. Harless & George E. Hoffer, 2002. "Do Women Pay More for New Vehicles? Evidence from Transaction Price Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 270-279, March.
  22. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1996. "Dealer Price Discrimination in New Car Purchases: Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 622-54, June.
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