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On the social inappropriateness of discrimination

Barr, Abigail; Lane, Tom; Nosenzo, Daniele


Tom Lane

Daniele Nosenzo


We experimentally investigate the relationship between discriminatory behaviour and the perceived social inappropriateness of discrimination. We conjecture that discrimination will be weaker when social norms oppose it. Our results support this prediction. Using a Krupka-Weber social norm elicitation task, we find participants perceive it to be more socially inappropriate to discriminate on the basis of nationality than on the basis of social identities artificially induced using a trivial minimal group technique. Correspondingly, we find that participants discriminate more in the artificial identity setting. Our results suggest norms and the preference to comply with them affect discriminatory decisions and that the social inappropriateness of discrimination moderates discriminatory behaviour.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2018-08
Journal Journal of Public Economics
Print ISSN 0047-2727
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 164
Pages 153-164
APA6 Citation Barr, A., Lane, T., & Nosenzo, D. (2018). On the social inappropriateness of discrimination. Journal of Public Economics, 164, 153-164.
Keywords Discrimination; Social norms; Krupka-Weber method; Allocator game
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: On the social inappropriateness of discrimination; Journal Title: Journal of Public Economics; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.


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