Beliefs about Racial Discrimination and Support for Pro-black Policies

102 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2017 Last revised: 25 Apr 2019

See all articles by Ingar Haaland

Ingar Haaland

NHH Norwegian School of Economics

Christopher Roth

briq- Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 5, 2019

Abstract

We provide nationally representative evidence on people’s beliefs about hiring discrimination against black Americans and examine whether these beliefs causally affect support for pro-black policies. Using representative samples of Americans, we elicit quantitative and incentivized beliefs about the extent of hiring discrimination against blacks. 55 percent of Americans overestimate the extent of hiring discrimination against blacks, and Republicans are 19 percentage points less likely than Democrats to overestimate the extent of hiring discrimination against blacks. To introduce exogenous variation in beliefs, we provide a random subset of our respondents with research evidence from a correspondence study that tested for hiring discrimination against blacks. The information treatment substantially narrows Republican–Democrat differences in beliefs, but fails to narrow differences in policy views. Our findings demonstrate that correcting biases in beliefs about the extent of hiring discrimination against blacks is not sufficient to reduce political polarization in support for pro-black policies.

Keywords: Racial Discrimination, Beliefs, Affirmative Action, Belief Extrapolation, Policy Preferences

JEL Classification: C91, D83, F22, J15

Suggested Citation

Haaland, Ingar and Roth, Christopher, Beliefs about Racial Discrimination and Support for Pro-black Policies (February 5, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3039629 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3039629

Ingar Haaland

NHH Norwegian School of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/ingarhaaland/

Christopher Roth (Contact Author)

briq- Institute on Behavior & Inequality ( email )

Schaumburg-Lippe-Straße 5-9
Bonn, 53113
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
234
rank
126,196
Abstract Views
1,383
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information