Wages, Employment, and Statistical Discrimination: Evidence from the Laboratory

12 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2014

See all articles by David L. Dickinson

David L. Dickinson

Appalachian State University

Ronald L. Oaxaca

University of Arizona - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 2014

Abstract

We report results from laboratory experiments designed to examine statistical discrimination. Our design expands upon existing research by generating data both on wage contracts and unemployment rates of directly competing worker groups. We find some evidence for statistical wage discrimination against workers having an identical expected productivity but a higher productivity variance. However, those same subjects are less likely to be unemployed, suggesting that our employer‐subjects view hiring choice and wage contracts as substitutable. A clear implication is that field data discrimination estimates based on wages alone may overestimate the true impact of such discrimination.

Suggested Citation

Dickinson, David L. and Oaxaca, Ronald L., Wages, Employment, and Statistical Discrimination: Evidence from the Laboratory (October 2014). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 52, Issue 4, pp. 1380-1391, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2485639 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12103

David L. Dickinson (Contact Author)

Appalachian State University ( email )

Boone, NC 28608
United States
1-828-262-2117 (Phone)
1-828-262-6105 (Fax)

Ronald L. Oaxaca

University of Arizona - Department of Economics ( email )

McClelland Hall
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States
520-621-4135 (Phone)
520-621-8450 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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