Do workers discriminate against their out-group employers? Evidence from an online platform economy

70 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2020 Last revised: 11 Sep 2020

See all articles by Sher Afghan Asad

Sher Afghan Asad

Lahore University of Management Sciences

Ritwik Banerjee

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Joydeep Bhattacharya

Iowa State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 23, 2020

Abstract

We study possible worker-to-employer discrimination manifested via social preferences. We run a well-powered, model-based experiment, wherein we recruit 6,000 white American workers from Amazon’s M- Turk platform for a real-effort task. We randomly (and unobtrusively) reveal the racial identity of their non-fictitious employer, who may either be white or black. We find evidence of race-based altruism towards black employers. However, the workers display significant racial discrimination in reciprocity - a small gift induces workers to put higher effort for white employers relative to black. Our results suggest that taste-based discrimination favoring ingroup can have significant adverse effects on outgroup employers.

Keywords: Discrimination, Worker-to-Employer, Social Preferences, Taste-based discrimination, Gig Economy, Mechanical Turk, Structural Behavioral Economics

JEL Classification: J71,D91, C93

Suggested Citation

Asad, Sher Afghan and Banerjee, Ritwik and Bhattacharya, Joydeep, Do workers discriminate against their out-group employers? Evidence from an online platform economy (February 23, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3544269 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3544269

Sher Afghan Asad

Lahore University of Management Sciences ( email )

D.H.A, Lahore Cantt
Lahore, Punjab 54792
Pakistan

Ritwik Banerjee

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore ( email )

Bannerghatta Road
Bangalore, Karnataka 560 076
India

HOME PAGE: http://www.ritwikbanerjee.in

Joydeep Bhattacharya (Contact Author)

Iowa State University - Department of Economics ( email )

260 Heady Hall
Ames, IA 50011
United States
515-294-5886 (Phone)
515-294-0221 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
49
Abstract Views
310
PlumX Metrics