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The Role of Information in Deterring Discrimination: A New Experimental Evidence of Statistical Discrimination

Author

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  • David Masclet

    (University of Rennes1 - CREM UMR CNRS 6211, France and CIRANO, Montréal, Canada)

  • Emmanuel Peterle

    (University of Rennes 1 - CREM UMR CNRS 6211, France)

  • Sophie Larribeau

    (University of Rennes 1 - CREM UMR CNRS 6211, France)

Abstract

This paper investigates experimentally gender and race discrimination in hiring decisions through a simple controlled setting where employers can observe workers’ individual characteristics before recruiting them. In this paper, we explore whether discrimination, if any, is statistical or taste-based. For this purpose, we varied across our treatments the level of information available to the employer during the hiring stage regarding workers’ potential ability. When no relevant information on ability is provided, we observe both significant gender and race discrimination. The introduction of information on ability or competitiveness reduces discrimination significantly, suggesting that discrimination is mainly due to a lack of information rather than preferences. Our findings indicate however that the reduction in discrimination strongly depends on the nature of the additional information available.

Suggested Citation

  • David Masclet & Emmanuel Peterle & Sophie Larribeau, 2012. "The Role of Information in Deterring Discrimination: A New Experimental Evidence of Statistical Discrimination," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201238, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
  • Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201238
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    real effort experiment; statistical discrimination; taste based discrimination; performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • 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

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