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Public Policy and Individual Labor Market Discrimination: An Artefactual Field Experiment in China


  • Uwe Dulleck
  • Jonas Fooken
  • Yumei He


We study discrimination based on the hukou system, a policy segregating migrants and locals in urban China. We hired household aids as participants in our artefactual field experiment and use a gift exchange game to study labor market discrimination. We fi nd that social discrimination based on hukou status also implies individual level discrimination. To identify whether discrimination is statistical or taste-based we introduce the wage promising game, a gift exchange game with a cheap talk wage promise. We find that discrimination is taste-based: Status is exogenous for our participants, migrants and locals behave similarly and discrimination increases when reasons for statistical discrimination are removed.

Suggested Citation

  • Uwe Dulleck & Jonas Fooken & Yumei He, 2012. "Public Policy and Individual Labor Market Discrimination: An Artefactual Field Experiment in China," QuBE Working Papers 002, QUT Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:qut:qubewp:wp002

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kuhn, Peter J. & Shen, Kailing, 2014. "Do Employers Prefer Undocumented Workers? Evidence from China's Hukou System," IZA Discussion Papers 8289, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Peter Kuhn & Kailing Shen, 2015. "Do employers prefer migrant workers? Evidence from a Chinese job board," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-31, December.
    3. Frijters, Paul & Kong, Tao Sherry & Liu, Elaine M., 2015. "Who is coming to the artefactual field experiment? Participation bias among Chinese rural migrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 62-74.
    4. Uwe Dulleck & Jonas Fooken & Yumei He, 2013. "Gender and other determinants of trust and reciprocity in an experimental labour market amongst Chinese students," QuBE Working Papers 012, QUT Business School.
    5. Yumei He & Jonas Fooken & Uwe Dulleck, 2015. "Facing a changing labour force in China: Determinants of trust and reciprocity in an experimental labour market," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(3), pages 1525-1530.

    More about this item


    labor market discrimination; artefactual field experiment; hukou;

    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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