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Choice-Based Discrimination: Labor Force Type Discrimination Against Gay Men, the Obese and Mothers

36 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2012  

Tamar Kricheli‐Katz

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 6, 2012

Abstract

Do perceptions of controllability and choice affect the nature and magnitude of discrimination? Many groups of people, who hold seemingly controllable devalued traits, including gay men, the obese and mothers, are discriminated against both in the labor force and in other areas of life. In this paper, I show that perceptions of choice and controllability generate discrimination against individuals with seemingly controllable stigmatized traits. I use a hiring experiment in a highly controlled setting to assess this argument. The results provide strong evidence for a causal relationship between perceptions of choice and labor force type discrimination against gay men, obese men and mothers. When the traits were presented as voluntary, gay men, obese men and mothers were penalized when compared to their equally qualified counterparts in terms of hiring, salary recommendations and competence evaluations. When the traits were presented as non-voluntary, people who hold these traits were placed at an advantage compared with those who do not hold them.

Keywords: discrimination, choice, labor force

JEL Classification: J71

Suggested Citation

Kricheli‐Katz, Tamar, Choice-Based Discrimination: Labor Force Type Discrimination Against Gay Men, the Obese and Mothers (July 6, 2012). 7th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2101596 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2101596

Tamar Kricheli Katz (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978, IL
Israel

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