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Discrimination as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from French Grocery Stores

56 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2016  

Dylan Glover

Sciences Po

Amanda Pallais

Harvard University

William Pariente

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL)

Date Written: October 2016


Examining the performance of cashiers in a French grocery store chain, we find that manager bias negatively affects minority job performance. In the stores studied, cashiers work with different managers on different days and their schedules are determined quasi-randomly. When minority cashiers, but not majority cashiers, are scheduled to work with managers who are biased (as determined by an Implicit Association Test), they are absent more often, spend less time at work, scan items more slowly, and take more time between customers. Manager bias has consequences for the average performance of minority workers: while on average minority and majority workers perform equivalently, on days where managers are unbiased, minorities perform significantly better than do majority workers. This appears to be because biased managers interact less with minorities, leading minorities to exert less effort.

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Suggested Citation

Glover, Dylan and Pallais, Amanda and Pariente, William, Discrimination as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from French Grocery Stores (October 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22786. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2861718

Dylan Glover (Contact Author)

Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337

Amanda Pallais

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

William Pariente

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Place Montesquieu, 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348

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