IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/feb/natura/00592.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Toward an Understanding of Why People Discriminate: Evidence from a Series of Natural Field Experiments

Author

Listed:
  • Uri Gneezy
  • John List
  • Michael Price

Abstract

Social scientists have presented evidence that suggests discrimination is ubiquitous: women, nonwhites, and the elderly have been found to be the target of discriminatory behavior across several labor and product markets. Scholars have been less successful at pinpointing the underlying motives for such discriminatory patterns. We employ a series of field experiments across several market and agent types to examine the nature and extent of discrimination. Our exploration includes examining discrimination based on gender, age, sexual orientation, race, and disability. Using data from more than 3000 individual transactions, we find evidence of discrimination in each market. Interestingly, we find that when the discriminator believes the object of discrimination is controllable, any observed discrimination is motivated by animus. When the object of discrimination is not due to choice, the evidence suggests that statistical discrimination is the underlying reason for the disparate behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Uri Gneezy & John List & Michael Price, 2012. "Toward an Understanding of Why People Discriminate: Evidence from a Series of Natural Field Experiments," Natural Field Experiments 00592, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00592
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://s3.amazonaws.com/fieldexperiments-papers2/papers/00592.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. M. V. Lee Badgett, 1995. "The Wage Effects of Sexual Orientation Discrimination," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 726-739, July.
    2. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Lang, Kevin & Siniver, Erez, 2011. "Why is an elite undergraduate education valuable? Evidence from Israel," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 767-777.
    2. Christian Pfeifer & Tatjana Sohr, 2009. "Analysing the Gender Wage Gap (GWG) Using Personnel Records," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(2), pages 257-282, June.
    3. Nakabayashi, Masaki, 2011. "Schooling, employer learning, and internal labor market effect: Wage dynamics and human capital investment in the Japanese steel industry, 1930-1960s," MPRA Paper 30597, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Anthony Edo & Nicolas Jacquemet & Constantine Yannelis, 2019. "Language skills and homophilous hiring discrimination: Evidence from gender and racially differentiated applications," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 349-376, March.
    5. Hunt, Jennifer & Laszlo, Sonia, 2005. "Bribery: Who Pays, Who Refuses, What are the Payoffs?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5251, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Cattan, Sarah & Kamhöfer, Daniel A. & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2017. "The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Student Absence: Evidence from Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10995, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Lin, Dajun & Lutter, Randall & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2018. "Cognitive performance and labour market outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 121-135.
    8. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2004. "Does Education Raise Productivity, or Just Reflect it?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(499), pages 499-517, November.
    9. Luojia Hu & Christopher Taber, 2011. "Displacement, Asymmetric Information, and HeterogeneousHuman Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 113-152, January.
    10. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2011. "Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 20, pages 1769-1823, Elsevier.
    11. Jepsen, Christopher & Jepsen, Lisa K., 2009. "Does home ownership vary by sexual orientation?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 307-315, May.
    12. Morten Størling Hedegaard & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2018. "The Price of Prejudice," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 40-63, January.
    13. Martin Abel & Rulof Burger & Patrizio Piraino, 2017. "The value of reference letters," Working Papers 06/2017, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    14. Edward P. Lazear & Paul Oyer, 2012. "Personnel Economics," Introductory Chapters, in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.),The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Princeton University Press.
    15. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Personnel Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121883, September.
    16. Theodore Koutmeridis, 2013. "The Market for "Rough Diamonds": Information, Finance and Wage Inequality," CDMA Working Paper Series 201307, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis, revised 14 Oct 2013.
    17. Hani Mansour, 2012. "Does Employer Learning Vary by Occupation?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 415-444.
    18. Marina Bassi & Matías Busso & Sergio Urzúa & Jaime Vargas, 2012. "Disconnected: Skills, Education, and Employment in Latin America," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 79504, February.
    19. Hussey, Andrew, 2012. "Human capital augmentation versus the signaling value of MBA education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 442-451.
    20. Mary Eschelbach Hansen & Michael E. Martell, 2014. "Self-Identified Sexual Orientation and the Lesbian Earnings Differential," Working Papers 2014-13, American University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00592. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joe Seidel). General contact details of provider: http://www.fieldexperiments.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.