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Discrimination Among Pre-School Children: Field Experimental Evidence

John List (), Annika List and Anya Samek

Artefactual Field Experiments from The Field Experiments Website

Abstract: Social scientists for years have documented the pervasiveness of discrimination in product and labor markets. While the literature has recently attempted to measure the nature of such discrimination, much less work has been done exploring the origins of discrimination. We make a modest step in this direction by reporting data from a field experiment attempting to measure discrimination amongst 3-5 years olds. Using a design that isolated discriminatory behaviors in economic games, we find that both White and Hispanic children send more resources to Black children than White children, whereas black children send equal amounts. This provides a first glimpse that suggests preferences amongst the young do not show similar patterns as preferences of adults.

Date: 2017
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