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On the social inappropriateness of discrimination

Barr, Abigail; Lane, Tom; Nosenzo, Daniele

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Professor of Economics

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.


Barr, A., Lane, T., & Nosenzo, D. (2018). On the social inappropriateness of discrimination. Journal of Public Economics, 164, 153-164.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 11, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 18, 2018
Publication Date 2018-08
Deposit Date Aug 3, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 3, 2018
Journal Journal of Public Economics
Print ISSN 0047-2727
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 164
Pages 153-164
Keywords Discrimination; Social norms; Krupka-Weber method; Allocator game
Public URL
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.
Contract Date Aug 3, 2018


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