Collective Reputation and the Dynamics of Statistical Discrimination
Economists have developed theoretical models identifying self-fulfilling expectations as an important source of statistical discrimination in labor markets (Arrow, 1973). The static models dominating the literature of statistical discrimination, however, may leave the false impression that a bad equilibrium is as fragile as a "bubble" and can burst at any moment when expectations flip. Such models thus understate the adversity that disadvantaged groups face in seeking to escape bad equilibria. By developing a dynamic version of a statistical discrimination model based on Coate and Loury's (1993) original setup, we clarify the limits of expectations-related fragility. We show that when a group is strongly affected by negative reputational externalities, the group cannot escape a low skill investment trap, regardless of how expectations are formed. By examining the evolution of stereotypes in this way, we also provide new insights into egalitarian policies.
|Date of creation:||12 Aug 2012|
|Date of revision:||31 Mar 2014|
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- Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993.
"Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-40, December.
- Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Shubham Chaudhuri & Rajiv Sethi, 2008. "Statistical Discrimination with Peer Effects: Can Integration Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 579-596.
- Paul Krugman, 1991. "History versus Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 651-667.
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