Statistical or Taste-Based Discrimination? Evidence on the Basis for Race and Gender Biases in Citizens’ Choice of Service Provider
Last registered on July 04, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Statistical or Taste-Based Discrimination? Evidence on the Basis for Race and Gender Biases in Citizens’ Choice of Service Provider
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004050
Initial registration date
March 25, 2019
Last updated
July 04, 2019 3:35 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
VIVE – The Danish Center for Social Science Research & Aarhus University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2019-05-01
End date
2019-05-14
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Research finds evidence for race and gender biases in state-citizen interactions, public hiring and advancement, and citizens’ dealings with government and the public administration. What is the main determinant of these biases? On the one hand, statistical discrimination theory suggests that discrimination takes the form of stereotyping based on group membership that results from imperfect information. Discrimination results from a rational behavioral response to uncertainty (i.e., informational bias). On the other hand, taste-based discrimination theory suggests that discrimination results from some sort of animus towards members of an out‐group. Discrimination results from a cognitive bias.

The proposed study examines the relevance of statistical vs. taste-based models of discrimination in the context of citizens’ choice of service provider. Using a survey experiment design, we present 2,000 Danish citizens to three vignettes, each describing a scenario in which the respondents are asked to choose between two potential service providers. In each vignette, we manipulate the race/gender of the two service providers. Moreover, we manipulate provision of information suggesting that the two potential service providers are equally and highly competent and trustworthy (thus minimizing informational bias).
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Pedersen, Mogens Jin. 2019. "Statistical or Taste-Based Discrimination? Evidence on the Basis for Race and Gender Biases in Citizens’ Choice of Service Provider." AEA RCT Registry. July 04. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4050/history/49317
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention consists of manipulation of information about gender, race, and competence in a survey.
Intervention Start Date
2019-05-01
Intervention End Date
2019-05-14
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Reported choice of service provider
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Reported beliefs about the service providers’ quality of service and trustworthiness
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The study involves a survey with three experimental vignettes. Respondents are citizens age 18-65 in Denmark.

Each of the three vignettes involve a distinct scenario in which the respondents are asked to choose between two potential service providers. Using a 4 x 2 factorial design, we manipulate both (a) the race or gender of the two potential service providers (e.g., male-male, female-female, male-female, or female-male) and (b) provision of an informational cue suggesting that the two potential service providers are equally and highly competent and trustworthy (i.e., information or no information).

The order of the vignettes is counterbalanced.
Experimental Design Details
The study involves a survey with three experimental vignettes. Respondents are citizens age 18-65 in Denmark. Each of the three vignettes involve a distinct scenario in which the respondents are asked to choose between two potential service providers. Using a 4 x 2 factorial design, we manipulate both (a) the race or gender of the two potential service providers (e.g., male-male, female-female, male-female, or female-male) and (b) provision of an informational cue suggesting that the two potential service providers are equally and highly competent and trustworthy (i.e., information or no information). Vignette 1: Describes a scenario involving choice of general practitioner. We manipulate the gender of the two potential general practitioners (e.g., male-male, female-female, male-female, or female-male) and provision of an informational cue suggesting that the two general practitioners are equally and highly competent and trustworthy (i.e., information or no information). Version 2: Describes a scenario involving choice of a babysitter. We manipulate the gender of the two potential babysitters (e.g., male-male, female-female, male-female, or female-male) and provision of an informational cue suggesting that the two babysitters are equally and highly competent and trustworthy (i.e., information or no information). Version 3: Describes a scenario involving choice of home cleaner. We manipulate the race of the two potential home cleaner s (e.g., Dane & Dane, non-Dane & non-Dane, Dane & non-Dane, or non-Dane & Dane) and provision of an informational cue suggesting that the two home cleaners are equally and highly competent and trustworthy (i.e., information or no information). The order of the vignettes is counterbalanced.
Randomization Method
Randomization is carried out by simple randomization by computer
Randomization Unit
The individual survey respondent.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
2,000 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,000 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
2,000 individuals (250 in each treatment arm, cf. the 4 x 2 factorial design)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
May 14, 2019, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
May 14, 2019, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
2,024 individuals
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
2,024 individuals
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
2,024 individuals (app. 250 in each treatment arm, cf. the 4 x 2 factorial design)
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers