White, Male, and Angry: A Reputation-based Rationale

26 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2022

See all articles by Stephane Wolton

Stephane Wolton

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government

Date Written: September 1, 2022

Abstract

From the bottom to the top of society, white men are angry. This paper provides a reputation-based rationale for this anger. Individuals care about their social reputation and engage in belief-motivated reasoning. In the presence of uncertainty, white men tend to have too high an opinion of their group, whether they belong to the elite or not. When new information reveal that the elite is biased in favor of white men, the reputation of all white men decreases causing a payoff loss and the anger that comes with it. I also show how policies in favor of disadvantaged groups can be supported by some white men and opposed by some individuals from the minority when social reputation is taken into account. Reducing white men's privileges can have a very different effect than disclosing the advantage this group enjoys.

Keywords: Privileges, Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Bias

Suggested Citation

Wolton, Stephane, White, Male, and Angry: A Reputation-based Rationale (September 1, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4206475 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4206475

Stephane Wolton (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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