Why do we Discriminate? The Role of Motivated Reasoning
54 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2022
Date Written: August 2022
Identifying the cause of discrimination is crucial to design effective policies and to understand discrimination dynamics. Building on traditional models, this paper introduces a new explanation for discrimination: discrimination based on motivated reasoning. By systematically acquiring and processing information, individuals form motivated beliefs and consequentially discriminate based on these beliefs. Through a series of experiments, I show the existence of discrimination based on motivated reasoning and demonstrate important differences to statistical discrimination and taste-based discrimination. Finally, I demonstrate how this form of discrimination can be alleviated by limiting individuals’ scope to interpret information.
Keywords: discrimination, belief formation, motivated reasoning
JEL Classification: D90, J71, D83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation