September 10, 2021 - 3:30 pm
September 10, 2021 - 5:00 pm
Topic: Caste and Unequal Access to Education: An Experimental Study
We study the existence of caste based discrimination in hiring practices of employers. In a lab experiment conducted 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 the potential employees while varying employees’ access to education. Depending on the treatment, employers are presented information on actual performance, education and caste belonging of the employees. We investigate whether discrimination reduces when employers are provided information about education of employees. We find evidence for initial discrimination based on prejudice in favor of in-group. Over time, as employers learn based on the experience gained in the experiment, they statistically discriminate infavor of upper caste employees.
Deepti Bhatia is currently pursuing her PhD in Experimental Economics at the Graduate School of Decision Sciences, University of Konstanz. She is also affiliated with Thurgau Institute of Economics, Switzerland. Her research interests include studying human behaviour through lab and field experiments. Presently, she is working on how responsibility is attributed in group decisions and on identity-based discrimination in the labour market. Previously, she has worked as a researcher at Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and as a Project Mentor at Ashoka University, Sonipat.