No disabled student left behind? - Evidence from a social field experiment
We conduct a field experiment to study if student counseling offices discriminate against disabled students based on their impairment. The offices receive randomized emails from fictitious high-school graduates, requesting information on the admission process and special accommodations to ease studying. Responses are evaluated using content analysis, allowing us to examine different theoretical mechanisms how discriminative behaviour can emerge. Results show that students with depression or dyslexia are discriminated against compared to students with physical impairments. We find no evidence for taste-based or statistical discrimination. Instead, results indicate that general information deficits about health conditions exist, leading to non-purposeful discrimination. Psychological and learning impairments are not recognized as disabilities and counselors are unaware of the limitations they entail. If discrimination translates into lower access to higher education and a lower probability to graduate, disadvantages for disabled individuals on the labor market are reinforced.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2013|
|Date of revision:|
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