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Scapegoating of ethnic minorities: Experimental evidence brought by our colleagues

20/10/2021

The article "Scapegoating of ethnic minorities: experimental evidence", which summarizes CEPR Discussion Paper 16453 on the topic of discrimination against ethnic minorities and its triggers, co-authored by our colleagues and CEPR members Michal Bauer and Julie Chytilová, was published at VoxEU

Scapegoating refers to a social phenomenon whereby members of an aggrieved majority group retaliate against innocent third parties, usually members of vulnerable minority groups. The article describes an experiment that took place between May and September 2017 in eastern Slovakia, where a large Roma minority regularly suffers discrimination. Our colleagues measured how an injustice that affects a member of one's own group shapes the punishment of an unrelated bystander (or scapegoat). The participants of this experiment were 337 young Slovak students from the last two years of high school and from a local university, along with 484 young adults of the Roma minority from the same regions. The experiment shows that members of the majority group will systematically transfer punishment onto innocent members of an ethnic minority.

This research was also mentioned by Michal Bauer as one of the keynote speakers at the ESA Global Online Around-the-Clock Meeting 2021, the most important conference of experimental economists, in the overview lecture "Triggers of Inter-group Hostility" - the recording is available here. 

 

Autor - Barbora Holková

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