Ethnic and Social Barriers to Cooperation: Experiments Studying the Extent and Nature of Discrimination in Urban Peru

30 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2011

See all articles by Marco Castillo

Marco Castillo

Texas A&M University

Ragan Petrie

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics; University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

Maximo Torero

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: April 2008

Abstract

This paper presents a series of experiments on discrimination in urban Lima, Peru. The experiments exploit degrees of information on performance as a way to assess how personal characteristics affect how people sort into groups, and the results show that behavior is not correlated with personal socio-economic and racial characteristics. However, people do use personal characteristics to sort themselves into groups. Height is a robust predictor of being desirable, as is being a woman. Looking indigenous makes one less desirable, and looking “white” increases one’s desirability. Interestingly, our experiments show that once information on performance is provided, almost all evidence of discrimination is eliminated. Although there is evidence of stereotyping or preference-based discrimination, clear information trumps discrimination.

Suggested Citation

Castillo, Marco and Petrie, Ragan and Torero, Maximo, Ethnic and Social Barriers to Cooperation: Experiments Studying the Extent and Nature of Discrimination in Urban Peru (April 2008). IDB Working Paper No. 228. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1815909 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1815909

Marco Castillo

Texas A&M University ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.marcocastillo.org

Ragan Petrie

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

4228 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Maximo Torero (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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