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Field Experiments on Discrimination

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  • Marianne Bertrand
  • Esther Duflo

Abstract

This article reviews the existing field experimentation literature on the prevalence of discrimination, the consequences of such discrimination, and possible approaches to undermine it. We highlight key gaps in the literature and ripe opportunities for future field work. Section 1 reviews the various experimental methods that have been employed to measure the prevalence of discrimination, most notably audit and correspondence studies; it also describes several other measurement tools commonly used in lab-based work that deserve greater consideration in field research. Section 2 provides an overview of the literature on the costs of being stereotyped or discriminated against, with a focus on self-expectancy effects and self-fulfilling prophecies; section 2 also discusses the thin field-based literature on the consequences of limited diversity in organizations and groups. The final section of the paper, Section 3, reviews the evidence for policies and interventions aimed at weakening discrimination, covering role model and intergroup contact effects, as well as socio-cognitive and technological de-biasing strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22014
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    1. Field Experiments on Discrimination
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-03-29 19:04:03

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    1. Sansani, Shahar, 2017. "Are the Religiously Observant Discriminated Against in the Rental Housing Market? Experimental Evidence from Israel," MPRA Paper 81424, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Chen, Daniel L. & Sethi, Jasmin, 2016. "Insiders, Outsiders, and Involuntary Unemployment: Sexual Harrassment Exacerbates Gender Inequality," IAST Working Papers 16-44, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    3. Martin Abel, 2017. "Labor market discrimination and sorting: Evidence from South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 205, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    4. Laetitia Challe & Yannick L'Horty & Pascale Petit & François-Charles Wolff, 2018. "Les discriminations dans l'accès à l'emploi privé et public : les effets de l'origine, de l'adresse, du sexe et de l'orientation sexuelle," Working Papers halshs-01878469, HAL.
    5. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2016. "Discrimination against Female Migrants Wearing Headscarves," IZA Discussion Papers 10217, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Mathieu Bunel & Samuel Gorohouna & Yannick L'Horty & Pascale Petit & Catherine Ris, 2016. "Discriminations Ethniques Dans L’Acces Au Logement: Une Experimentation En Nouvelle-Caledonie," Working Papers halshs-01374442, HAL.
    7. Chen, Daniel L. & Halberstam, Yosh & Yu, Alan, 2016. "Covering: Mutable Characteristics and Perceptions of Voice in the U.S. Supreme Court," TSE Working Papers 16-680, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Aug 2016.
    8. Boyd-Swan, Casey & Herbst, Chris M., 2017. "Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in the Labor Market for Child Care Teachers," IZA Discussion Papers 11140, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Bonick, Matthew & Farfán-Vallespín, Antonio, 2016. "On the origin and consequences of racism," The Constitutional Economics Network Working Papers 02-2016, University of Freiburg, Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory.
    10. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2016. "Discrimination against female migrants wearing headscarves," Economics working papers 2016-09, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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