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Social Identity and Role Models

Report
Authors Joseph Vecci
Tomas Zelinsky
ISSN 1403-2465
Publisher University of Gothenburg
Place of publication Göteborg
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Economics
Language en
Links hdl.handle.net/2077/47585
Keywords Social Identity, artefactual field experiments, discrimination, role models, Roma
Subject categories Economics

Abstract

We present a lab-in-the-field experiment and surveys of marginalised Roma children in Slovakia to examine whether reminding Roma of their ethnicity reduces their performance in a cognitive task. Research on social identity and stereotypes has documented that when individuals feel their social group is negatively stereotyped in a domain their performance declines, which can reinforce discrimination. In an effort to break the cycle of negative stereotypes we remind Roma of either Roma or non-Roma role models. We find that the activation of a Roma's ethnicity reduces cognitive performance. In contrast Roma exposed to Roma role models outperform those reminded of their ethnicity and also non-Roma role models. We then attempt to understand the channels through which social identity and role models effect performance. We show that priming a Roma's identity has a direct effect on confidence, decreasing performance.

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