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

23 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2022 Last revised: 16 Jan 2023

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, many white men are angry. This note provides a reputational-based rationale for this anger. Individuals care about their social status (elite vs non-elite) and their reputation (others' perception of their ability). Citizens are also uncertain about of how one becomes a member of the elite. 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. In contrast, policies meant to reduce inequalities in the access to the elite can be supported by some white men and opposed by some individuals from the other groups. I briefly discuss how to interpret reactions to recent events (such as #Metoo and Black Lives Matter) in light of these results.

Keywords: Privileges, Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Bias

JEL Classification: D80, J70, Z13

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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