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

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  • 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
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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..
    3. Marie-Pierre Dargnies & Rustamdjan Hakimov & Dorothea Kübler, 2022. "Aversion to Hiring Algorithms: Transparency, Gender Profiling, and Self-Confidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 9968, CESifo.
    4. Dargnies, Marie-Pierre & Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Kübler, Dorothea, 2022. "Aversion to Hiring Algorithms: Transparency, Gender Profiling, and Self-Confidence," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 334, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    5. 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.

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    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

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