Alex Bryson, Arnaud Chevalier, 15 August 2014

Racial gaps in wages are often attributed to discrimination but data limitations make drawing strong conclusions difficult. Economists usually distinguish between taste-based and statistical discrimination. This column presents evidence from a new test of taste-based discrimination. Examining hiring decisions in the English Fantasy Premier League, the authors do not find that employers discriminate based on race. One explanation for this is that good productivity measures minimise the opportunities for statistical discrimination, which according to studies drives the racial difference in market outcomes.

Ghazala Azmat, Barbara Petrongolo, 07 June 2014

There are considerable gender differences in pay and employment levels, and in the type of labour-market activities. This column reviews experimental studies that address different aspects of these problems. Three channels are explored: gender discrimination on the labour market, differences in individual and group preferences, and productivity. Despite recent experimental advances, gender differences in labour-market success have only been partially explained.

Laurent Gobillon, Peter Rupert, Étienne Wasmer, 16 June 2013

The unemployment rate in France is roughly 6 percentage points higher for African immigrants than for natives. In the US the unemployment rate is approximately 9 percentage points higher for blacks than for whites. This paper investigates the impact of spatial mismatch on the unemployment rate of ethnic groups using the matching model proposed by Rupert and Wasmer (2012).

Eleonora Patacchini, Giuseppe Ragusa, Yves Zenou, 14 November 2012

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is perceived as widespread in the EU. This column provides the evidence. Fake CVs, some explicitly gay, were sent to job ads in Rome and Milan. Gay men were found to have a 30% lower chance of being called back. And while beauty increased callback rates for women, being overtly lesbian had no effect.

Christopher Cotton, Frank McIntyre, Joseph Price, 21 October 2010

Around the world, the pay and achievement gap between men and women remains significant, as shown by last week’s Global Gender Gap Report. This column explores whether this gap can be explained by attitudes towards competition. Using experimental evidence from math quiz competitions in primary schools, it finds that while males respond better to competition initially, this advantage is short-lived, as females are just as responsive over time.

Sara de la Rica , Juan Dolado, Raquel Vegas, 03 August 2010

The competitive paradigm predicts equivalent wages for equivalent workers, but significant gender gaps persist in many labor markets. This column analyses the gap in earnings between Spanish men and women, focusing on performance-related pay. It shows a strikingly large gap in pay and suggests that employer beliefs about unbalanced household tasks and outside options generate “a marriage premium” for males and a “marriage penalty” for women.

Jennifer Doleac, Luke Stein, 29 June 2010

Do buyers discriminate based on race? This column describes an experiment in the US that advertised iPods online from black and white sellers. Black sellers received fewer offers at lower prices, doing better in markets with competition amongst buyers and worse in high-crime markets. The authors find evidence of both statistical and taste-based discrimination.

Alison Booth, Andrew Leigh, 02 February 2010

Does gender-stereotyping in the workplace cut both ways? This column presents evidence from Australia suggesting that employers in occupations with more women discriminate against male applicants, perhaps preferring to conform to perceived social norms. As with discrimination against women, this raises concerns for both equity and efficiency.

Rema Hanna, Leigh Linden, 01 September 2009

Education is often cited as a way of “levelling the playing field” for children from disadvantaged minority groups, opening up both social and economic opportunities. But is education itself level? This column provides evidence that Indian schoolteachers may discriminate against minority students.

John List, 30 April 2009

John List of the University of Chicago talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the use of field experiments in economics, including his research on people’s motivation for charitable giving, gender differences in competitiveness, and discrimination in the labour market. The interview was recorded at the American Economic Association meetings in San Francisco in January 2009.

David Bjerk, 15 October 2008

Females and minorities may be underrepresented at top jobs due to a sticky floor rather than a glass ceiling. This column says that if females and minorities face greater obstacles in signalling their abilities to employers early in their careers, then they may never have the opportunity to reach the top. Policies might try targeting the bottom of the job ladder.

Denis Drechsler, Johannes Jütting, 07 March 2008

Discrimination against women significantly hampers the economic development of many poor countries. This column introduces two new OECD Development Centre efforts to assess and reduce gender discrimination, including a new portal www.wikigender.org.

José Tavares, Tiago Cavalcanti, 16 October 2007

Gender discrimination is economically inefficient since it prevents equalisation of marginal products. Recent simulations based on calibrated macro models indicate that the economic loss is large. In one thought experiment, the research suggests that a very large fraction of the income differences between many nations and the US is due to gender inequality.

Guy Michaels, Xiaojia Zhi, 09 July 2007

Estimates suggest that the worsening relations reduced US imports from France by about 5 billion dollars and US exports to France by about 2 billion dollars in 2005 compared to other countries.

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