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Discrimination and workers' expectations

  • Antonio Filippin


The paper explores the role of workers' expectations as an original explanation for the puzzling long run persistence of observed discrimination against some minorities in the labor market. A game of incomplete information is presented, showing that ex ante identical groups of workers may be characterized by unequal outcomes in equilibrium due to their different beliefs, even though discriminatory tastes and statistical discrimination by employers have disappeared. Wrong beliefs of being discriminated against are self-confirming in this circumstance, being the ultimate cause of a lower percentage of promotions which supports these wrong beliefs.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2003-15.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2003-15
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  1. Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K., 1991. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium ," Working papers 581, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Eddie Dekel & Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2000. "Learning to Play Bayesian Games," Discussion Papers 1322, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, revised Jul 2001.
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  7. Richard Breen & Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa, 2002. "Bayesian Learning and Gender Segregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 899-922, October.
  8. Antonio Filippin, 2003. "Discrimination and workers' expectations: experimental evidence," Departmental Working Papers 2003-16, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  9. Filippin, Antonio & Ichino, Andrea, 2003. "Gender Wage Gap in Expectations and Realizations," IZA Discussion Papers 825, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1992. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws, and Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Results," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 511-39, May.
  11. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
  12. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
  13. Andrew Schotter & Allan Corns, 1999. "Can Affirmative Action Be Cost Effective? An Experimental Examination of Price-Preference Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 291-305, March.
  14. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical theories of discrimination in labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
  15. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  16. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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