Caste and Unequal Access to Education: An Experimental Study

About this Session


Thu. 07.04. 17:00



Speaker: Deepti Bhatia, Co-Authors: , Ankush Asri, Urs Fischbacher

We study caste-based discrimination in hiring practices of employers in a lab experiment in India. Students belonging to different castes are assigned the role of employees and employers. We test whether employers tend to discriminate in assessing the abilities of potential employees. The employees are provided with different access to education, which can be used as an excuse for discrimination. Depending on the treatment, employers are presented with information on actual performance, education, and caste membership of the employees. We find evidence for initial discrimination based on prejudice in favor of in-group. However, this preference for in-group changes with time. Over time, as employers learn based on the experience gained in the experiment, they statistically discriminate in favor of upper-caste employees.