Are All Types of Discrimination Created Equal?
33 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2017 Last revised: 19 Apr 2018
Date Written: September 12, 2017
Are all types of discrimination created equal? This project takes an experimental approach to disentangle the different mechanisms generating discrimination. We let a large random sample of the Israeli Jewish population play four games with fictitious partners who belong to one of the following social groups: Women, Arabs, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Mizrahi Jews, and Ashkenazi Jews. A ‘dictator game’ was used to investigate negative emotions of dislike; a ‘trust game’ was used to explore mistrust; a ‘competence game’ was used to explore beliefs about competence and intelligence; and a ‘donation game’ was used to investigate beliefs about moral entitlement. Above and beyond of all of the other social groups, Arabs were found to be the most discriminated against group, across all of the domains measured in the different games. Ultra-Orthodox Jews were discriminated against in the dictator game, but were favored in the trust game, suggesting that they are disliked but viewed as trustworthy. Women were generally favored, compared to men, across all games. Mizrahi Jews were not discriminated against in the dictator game, but were given less money by Jewish men in the trust game. This suggests that Mizrahi Jews are not disliked, but are rather viewed as not trustworthy by Jewish men. Our findings suggest that although in many countries, anti-discrimination laws apply a unified approach to eliminate all forms of ethnic, gender, and religious-based discrimination, in reality, because each form of discrimination is generated by different mechanisms, no one policy fits all. Thus, our project makes two main contributions to the empirical study of anti-discrimination law: First, we offer an innovative methodology to disentangle the different mechanisms generating discrimination that could enable policymakers to design more accurate anti-discrimination laws. Second, we document differences in the types of discrimination targeted at different social groups in Israel – a poster child of heterogeneous and segmented societies.
Keywords: Discrimination, Dictator Game, Trust Game, Competence Game, Experimental Behavioral Law & Economics
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