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The Use of Field Experiments to Study Mechanisms of Discrimination
Linköping University, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Department of Sociology University of Mannheim, Germany.
2016 (English)In: Analyse & Kritik. Zeitung für linke Debatte und Praxis, ISSN 0171-5860, E-ISSN 2365-9858, Vol. 38, no 1, p. 179-202Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper discusses social mechanisms of discrimination and reviews existing field experimental designs for their identication. We first explicate two social mechanisms proposed in the literature, animus-driven and statistical discrimination, to explain differential treatment based on ascriptive characteristics. We then present common approaches to study discrimination based on observational data and laboratory experiments, discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and elaborate why unobtrusive field experiments are a promising complement. However, apart from specific methodological challenges, well-established experimental designs fail to identify the mechanisms of discrimination. Consequently, we introduce a rapidly growing strand of research which actively intervenes in market activities varying costs and information for potential perpetrators to identify causal pathways of discrimination. We end with a summary of lessons learned and a discussion of challenges that lie ahead.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Walter de Gruyter, 2016. Vol. 38, no 1, p. 179-202
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-136540DOI: 10.1515/auk-2016-0109Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84964732956OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-136540DiVA, id: diva2:1089308
Available from: 2017-04-19 Created: 2017-04-19 Last updated: 2017-05-09Bibliographically approved

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