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Bias in the Legal Profession: Self-Assessed versus Statistical Measures of Discrimination

  • Antecol, Heather

    ()

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    ()

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Helland, Eric

    ()

    (Claremont McKenna College)

Legal cases are generally won or lost on the basis of statistical discrimination measures, but it is workers' perceptions of discriminatory behavior that are important for understanding many labor-supply decisions. Workers who believe that they have been discriminated against are more likely to subsequently leave their employers and it is almost certainly workers' perceptions of discrimination that drive formal complaints to the EEOC. Yet the relationship between statistical and self-assessed measures of discrimination is far from obvious. We expand on the previous literature by using data from the After the JD (AJD) study to compare standard Blinder-Oaxaca measures of earnings discrimination to self-reported measures of (i) client discrimination; (ii) other work-related discrimination; and (iii) harassment. Overall, our results indicate that conventional measures of earnings discrimination are not closely linked to the racial and gender bias that new lawyers believe they have experience on the job. Statistical earnings discrimination is only occasionally related to increases in self-assessed bias and when it is the effects are very small. Moreover, statistical earnings discrimination does not explain the disparity in self-assessed bias across gender and racial groups.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5831.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Legal Studies, 2014, 43(2), 323-357
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5831
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  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. Antecol, Heather & Kuhn, Peter, 2000. "Gender as an Impediment to Labor Market Success: Why Do Young Women Report Greater Harm?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 702-28, October.
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  6. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2002. "The Changing Nature of Employment-Related Sexual Harassment: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Government (1978-1994)," IZA Discussion Papers 619, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2003. "Sexual orientation discrimination in hiring," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 629-642, December.
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  12. Alison L. Booth & Andrew Leigh & Elena Varganova, 2012. "Does Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence from a Field Experiment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(4), pages 547-573, 08.
  13. 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.
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  18. Mary B. Hampton & John S. Heywood, 1993. "Do Workers Accurately Perceive Gender Wage Discrimination?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(1), pages 36-49, October.
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  20. Amitabh Chandra, 2000. "Labor-Market Dropouts and the Racial Wage Gap: 1940-1990," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 333-338, May.
  21. Booth, Alison L & Leigh, Andrew & Varganova, Elena, 2010. "Does Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence From a Field Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7913, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Heather Antecol & Anneke Jong & Michael D. Steinberger, 2008. "The Sexual Orientation Wage Gap: The Role of Occupational Sorting and Human Capital," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(4), pages 518-543, July.
  23. Charles Brown, 1981. "Black-White Earnings Ratios Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Importance of Labor Market Dropouts," NBER Working Papers 0617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Riach, Peter A & Rich, Judith, 1991. "Testing for Racial Discrimination in the Labour Market," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 239-56, September.
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  27. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
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  29. Wood, Robert G & Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1993. "Pay Differences among the Highly Paid: The Male-Female Earnings Gap in Lawyers' Salaries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 417-41, July.
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