Determining the Extent of Statistical Discrimination: Evidence from a Field Experiment in India

60 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2018

See all articles by Asad Islam

Asad Islam

Monash University - Department of Economics

Debayan Pakrashi

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur

Liang C. Wang

Monash University

Yves Zenou

Monash University - Department of Economics; Stockholm University; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2018

Abstract

In order to determine the relative size of taste-based and statistical discrimination, we develop a simple model to distinguish these two theories. We then test the model's predictions of caste-based discrimination by conducting a field experiment that elicits patients' rankings of physicians of different castes and years of experience in the healthcare market in India. We also run a survey and conduct lab-in-the-field experiments to measure patients' attitudes towards different caste groups. We find that 47 to 80 percent of patients statistically discriminate physicians. The overwhelming size of statistical discrimination has important implications for the use of Affirmative Action policies in India.

Keywords: caste, discrimination, field experiment, health

JEL Classification: I15, J15, O12

Suggested Citation

Islam, Asadul and Pakrashi, Debayan and Wang, Liang C. and Zenou, Yves, Determining the Extent of Statistical Discrimination: Evidence from a Field Experiment in India (May 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12955, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3190175

Asadul Islam (Contact Author)

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Monash University
Caulfield East, Victoria
Australia
+61399032783 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://users.monash.edu/~asaduli/

Debayan Pakrashi

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur ( email )

Kharagpur
Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh 208016
India

Liang C. Wang

Monash University ( email )

Australia

Yves Zenou

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Australia

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI) ( email )

P.O. Box 5501
S-114 85 Stockholm
Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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