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Abstract We collect novel data on people's beliefs about the extent of racial discrimination in the United States and examine to what extent these beliefs drive support for racial affirmative action policies. The experiment has two waves. In the first wave, we elicit incentivized beliefs about how likely black-sounding names are to receive a callback for an interview relative to white-sounding names. We then provide a random subset of our subjects with information about the results from an audit study that found evidence of racial discrimination in the labor market. In the second wave, which is performed approximately one week after the first wave, we measure self-reported attitudes toward affirmative action. We obfuscate the purpose of the second wave to reduce concerns about experimenter demand effects. This paper provides representative evidence on people's beliefs about the extent of racial discrimination in the United States and to what extent these beliefs drive support for affirmative action policies. We report evidence from two separate experiments. In the first experiment, we elicit incentivized beliefs about how likely resumes with black-sounding names are to receive a callback for an interview relative to resumes with white-sounding names. We then provide a random subset of our respondents with the true statistic and investigate how this affects support for affirmative action policies. To deal with experimenter demand effects, we perform a second experiment where the key outcome questions are only asked one week later in an obfuscated follow-up study.
Last Published June 16, 2017 03:01 PM June 30, 2017 08:45 AM
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