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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. John List, 2003. "Does market experience eliminate market anomalies?," Natural Field Experiments 00297, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Moving To Opportunity In Boston: Early Results Of A Randomized Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 607-654, May.
  3. Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 2000. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: an Experimental Approach," Papers 2000-9, Tel Aviv.
  4. repec:feb:framed:0081 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. 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.
  6. John List, 2004. "Testing neoclassical competitive theory in multi-lateral decentralized markets," Framed Field Experiments 00176, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
  8. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 1997. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 6279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are emily and greg more employable than lakisha and jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination," Natural Field Experiments 00216, 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. John List, 2001. "Do explicit warnings eliminate the hypothetical bias in elicitation procedures? Evidence from field auctions for sportscards," Framed Field Experiments 00163, The Field Experiments Website.
  12. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2002. "Discrimination by Gender and Social Distance," Research Papers in Economics 2002:2, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. John Yinger, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Consumer Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 23-40, Spring.
  15. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  16. 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.
  17. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1995. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," NBER Working Papers 5024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  21. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
  22. 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.
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