Diversity and Discrimination in Schools

About this Session


Thu. 11.04. 15:25



Author – Christina Felfe.

Abstract :

We examine whether native childrens’ own-group favoring behavior changes as the
fraction of ethnic minorities in their peer group increases. For this purpose, we leverage the random assignment of students to classrooms within a school to obtain variation in fraction of immigrants in a native’s peer group. We combine this with a lab-in-the field experiment which elicits in-group out-group bias using an investment game. We find empirical evidence for an inverse-U shape, with the maximum amount of bias occuring when the native and immigrant groups are of roughly equal size, i.a. in a polarized classroom. Morever, bias peaks with culturally distant groups, but collapses in a fractionalized classroom. The driving mechanism are biased beliefs or (wrong) stereotypes extrapolated from experiences made in the classroom. Finally, we show that these beliefs also translate in anti-immigration attitudes.