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

  • 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)

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.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS in its series Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) with number 201238.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201238
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