IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/wzbeoc/spii2020306.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Explicit and implicit belief-based gender discrimination: A hiring experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Barron, Kai
  • Ditlmann, Ruth
  • Gehrig, Stefan
  • Schweighofer-Kodritsch, Sebastian

Abstract

Understanding discrimination is key for designing policy interventions that promote equality in society. Economists have studied the topic intensively, typically taxonomizing discrimination as either taste-based or (accurate) statistical discrimination. To enrich this taxonomy, we design a hiring experiment that rules out both of these sources of discrimination along the gender dimension. Yet, we still detect substantial discrimination against women. We provide evidence of two forms of discrimination, explicit and implicit belief-based discrimination. Both rely on statistically inaccurate beliefs but differ in how clearly they reveal the decision-maker's gender bias. Our analysis highlights the central role played by contextual features of the choice environment in determining whether and how discrimination will manifest. We conclude by discussing how policy makers may design effective regulation to address specific forms of discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Barron, Kai & Ditlmann, Ruth & Gehrig, Stefan & Schweighofer-Kodritsch, Sebastian, 2020. "Explicit and implicit belief-based gender discrimination: A hiring experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2020-306, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2020306
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/223247/1/1727613708.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Katherine B. Coffman & Paola Ugalde Araya & Basit Zafar, 2021. "A (Dynamic) Investigation of Stereotypes, Belief-Updating, and Behavior," NBER Working Papers 29382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. J. Aislinn Bohren & Kareem Haggag & Alex Imas & Devin G. Pope, 2019. "Inaccurate Statistical Discrimination: An Identification Problem," PIER Working Paper Archive 19-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 17 Jul 2020.
    3. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna & Patricia Funk & Nagore Iriberri, 2020. "Are Referees and Editors in Economics Gender Neutral?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(1), pages 269-327.
    4. Lucia Corno & Eliana La Ferrara & Justine Burns, 2022. "Interaction, Stereotypes, and Performance: Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 112(12), pages 3848-3875, December.
    5. Dylan Glover & Amanda Pallais & William Pariente, 2017. "Discrimination as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from French Grocery Stores," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1219-1260.
    6. Ben Greiner, 2015. "Subject pool recruitment procedures: organizing experiments with ORSEE," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 114-125, July.
    7. Heather Sarsons & Klarita Gërxhani & Ernesto Reuben & Arthur Schram, 2021. "Gender Differences in Recognition for Group Work," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 129(1), pages 101-147.
    8. Lepage, Louis Pierre, 2021. "Endogenous learning, persistent employer biases, and discrimination," CLEF Working Paper Series 34, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.
    9. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Jonathan Guryan, 2011. "Studying Discrimination: Fundamental Challenges and Recent Progress," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 479-511, September.
    10. Alberto Alesina & Michela Carlana & Eliana La Ferrara & Paolo Pinotti, 2018. "Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools," NBER Working Papers 25333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Heather Sarsons, 2015. "Recognition for Group Work," Working Paper 254946, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    12. Barr, Abigail & Lane, Tom & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2018. "On the social inappropriateness of discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 153-164.
    13. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-941.
    14. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
    15. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    16. J. Aislinn Bohren & Alex Imas & Michael Rosenberg, 2019. "The Dynamics of Discrimination: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(10), pages 3395-3436, October.
    17. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "Automatic associations and discrimination in hiring: Real world evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 523-534, June.
    18. Hengel, E., 2017. "Publishing while Female. Are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1753, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    19. Pedro Bordalo & Katherine Coffman & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2019. "Beliefs about Gender," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(3), pages 739-773, March.
    20. Marianne Bertrand & Dolly Chugh & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2005. "Implicit Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 94-98, May.
    21. Cacault, Maria Paula & Grieder, Manuel, 2019. "How group identification distorts beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 63-76.
    22. J. Aislinn Bohren & Peter Hull & Alex Imas, 2022. "Systemic Discrimination: Theory and Measurement," NBER Working Papers 29820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Kübler, Dorothea & Schmid, Julia & Stüber, Robert, 2018. "Gender discrimination in hiring across occupations: a nationally-representative vignette study," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 215-229.
    24. Ayres, Ian & Siegelman, Peter, 1995. "Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New Car," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 304-321, June.
    25. Riach, Peter A & Rich, Judith, 1987. "Testing for Sexual Discrimination in the Labour Market," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(49), pages 165-178, December.
    26. Yinger, John, 1986. "Measuring Racial Discrimination with Fair Housing Audits: Caught in the Act," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 881-893, December.
    27. Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
    28. Christine L. Exley, 2016. "Excusing Selfishness in Charitable Giving: The Role of Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 587-628.
    29. Tom Cunningham & Jonathan de Quidt, 2016. "Implicit Preferences Inferred from Choice," CESifo Working Paper Series 5704, CESifo.
    30. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    31. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993. "Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-1240, December.
    32. Chen, Daniel L. & Schonger, Martin & Wickens, Chris, 2016. "oTree—An open-source platform for laboratory, online, and field experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(C), pages 88-97.
    33. Goldin, Claudia D. & Rouse, Cecilia, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of “Blind†Auditions on Female Musicians," Scholarly Articles 30703974, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    34. Michela Carlana, 2019. "Implicit Stereotypes: Evidence from Teachers’ Gender Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(3), pages 1163-1224.
    35. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Identity, Morals, and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 805-855.
    36. Eric Luis Uhlmann & Geoffrey Cohen, 2005. "Constructed Criteria. Redefining Merit to Justify Discrimination," Post-Print hal-00516601, HAL.
    37. Coffman, Katherine & Flikkema, Clio Bryant & Shurchkov, Olga, 2021. "Gender stereotypes in deliberation and team decisions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 329-349.
    38. Bowles, Hannah Riley & Babcock, Linda & Lai, Lei, 2007. "Social incentives for gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations: Sometimes it does hurt to ask," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 84-103, May.
    39. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
    40. Lane, Tom, 2016. "Discrimination in the laboratory: A meta-analysis of economics experiments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 375-402.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Abel, Martin & Burger, Rulof, 2023. "Unpacking Name-Based Race Discrimination," IZA Discussion Papers 16254, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Brendan O'Flaherty & Rajiv Sethi & Morgan Williams, 2024. "The nature, detection, and avoidance of harmful discrimination in criminal justice," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 43(1), pages 289-320, January.
    3. Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata & Koh, Boon Han, 2023. "Do women receive less blame than men? Attribution of outcomes in a prosocial setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 210(C), pages 441-452.
    4. Silva Goncalves, Juliana & van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2020. "Subjective Judgment and Gender Bias in Advice: Evidence from the Laboratory," Working Papers 2020:27, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    5. Lea Heursen & Svenja Friess & Marina Chugunova, 2023. "Reputational Concerns and Advice-Seeking at Work," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 447, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    6. Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan & Boon Han Koh, 2021. "Gender Biases in Performance Evaluation: The Role of Beliefs Versus Outcomes," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2021-09, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    7. Dargnies, Marie-Pierre & Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Kübler, Dorothea, 2022. "Aversion to hiring algorithms: Transparency, gender profiling, and self-confidence," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2022-202, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    8. Simonovits, Gábor & Simonovits, Bori, 2022. "Csökkenthető-e a diszkrimináció a megosztáson alapuló gazdaságban? Egy magyarországi telekocsioldalon végzett kísérleti kutatás eredményei [Can discrimination be decreased in the new platform econo," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 1457-1474.
    9. Sona Badalyan & Darya Korlyakova & Rastislav Rehak, 2023. "Disclosure Discrimination: An Experiment Focusing on Communication in the Hiring Process," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp743, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    10. Ruzzier, Christian A. & Woo, Marcelo D., 2023. "Discrimination with inaccurate beliefs and confirmation bias," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 210(C), pages 379-390.
    11. Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan & Boon Han Koh, 2023. "Discrimination in Evaluation Criteria: The Role of Beliefs versus Outcomes," Discussion Papers 2316, University of Exeter, Department of Economics.
    12. Haeckl, Simone & Kartal, Melis, 2021. "Does a stereotype benefit women in the labor market: An experiment on perseverance," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2021/5, University of Stavanger.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Gagnon, Nickolas & Bosmans, Kristof & Riedl, Arno, 2020. "The Effect of Unfair Chances and Gender Discrimination on Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 12912, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Katherine B. Coffman & Christine L. Exley & Muriel Niederle, 2021. "The Role of Beliefs in Driving Gender Discrimination," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 67(6), pages 3551-3569, June.
    3. Silva Goncalves, Juliana & van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2020. "Subjective Judgment and Gender Bias in Advice: Evidence from the Laboratory," Working Papers 2020:27, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    4. J. Michelle Brock & Ralph De Haas, 2023. "Discriminatory Lending: Evidence from Bankers in the Lab," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 31-68, April.
    5. Aksoy, Billur & Chadd, Ian & Koh, Boon Han, 2023. "Sexual identity, gender, and anticipated discrimination in prosocial behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 154(C).
    6. Billur Aksoy & Ian Chadd & Boon Han Koh, 2022. "(Anticipated) Discrimination against Sexual Minorities in Prosocial Domains," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2021-08, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    7. Ewens, Michael, 2022. "Race and Gender in Entrepreneurial Finance," SocArXiv djf8z, Center for Open Science.
    8. Morten Størling Hedegaard & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2018. "The Price of Prejudice," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 40-63, January.
    9. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Ruzzier, Christian A. & Woo, Marcelo D., 2023. "Discrimination with inaccurate beliefs and confirmation bias," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 210(C), pages 379-390.
    11. Eren, Ozkan, 2023. "Potential in-group bias at work: Evidence from performance evaluations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 206(C), pages 296-312.
    12. Miguel A. Fonseca & Ashley McCrea, 2023. "The role of shortlisting in shifting gender beliefs on performance: experimental evidence," Discussion Papers 2315, University of Exeter, Department of Economics.
    13. Jan Feld & Edwin Ip & Andreas Leibbrandt & Joseph Vecci, 2022. "Identifying and Overcoming Gender Barriers in Tech: A Field Experiment on Inaccurate Statistical Discrimination," CESifo Working Paper Series 9970, CESifo.
    14. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Dustan, Andrew & Koutout, Kristine & Leo, Greg, 2022. "Second-order beliefs and gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 752-781.
    16. Fischbacher, Urs & Kübler, Dorothea & Stüber, Robert, 2022. "Betting on diversity: Occupational segregation and gender stereotypes," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2022-207, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    17. Michela Carlana, 2019. "Implicit Stereotypes: Evidence from Teachers’ Gender Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(3), pages 1163-1224.
    18. Adnan, Wifag & Arin, K. Peren & Charness, Gary & Lacomba, Juan A. & Lagos, Francisco, 2022. "Which social categories matter to people: An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 193(C), pages 125-145.
    19. List John A., 2007. "Field Experiments: A Bridge between Lab and Naturally Occurring Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-47, April.
    20. Carlsson, Magnus & Fumarco, Luca & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2013. "Artifactual Evidence of Discrimination in Correspondence Studies? A Replication of the Neumark Method," IZA Discussion Papers 7619, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Discrimination; Hiring Decisions; Gender; Beliefs; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2020306. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/owwzbde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.