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The Dynamics of Discrimination: Theory and Evidence

Aislinn Bohren (), Alex Imas () and Michael Rosenberg
Additional contact information
Alex Imas: Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University
Michael Rosenberg: Wayfair

PIER Working Paper Archive from Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: We model the dynamics of discrimination and show how its evolution can identify the underlying source. We test these theoretical predictions in a ï¬ eld experiment on a large online platform where users post content that is evaluated by other users on the platform. We assign posts to accounts that exogenously vary by gender and evaluation histories. With no prior evaluations, women face signiï¬ cant discrimination. However, following a sequence of positive evaluations, the direction of discrimination reverses: women’s posts are favored over men’s. Interpreting these results through the lens of our model, this dynamic reversal implies discrimination driven by biased beliefs.

Keywords: Discrimination; Dynamic Behavior; Field Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 D83 D9 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-gen
Date: 2018-07-01, Revised 2018-07-01
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Related works:
Working Paper: The Dynamics of Discrimination: Theory and Evidence (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The Dynamics of Discrimination: Theory and Evidence (2017) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pen:papers:18-016

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