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Social Identity and Role Models

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
Keywords Social Identity, artefactual field experiments, discrimination, role models, Roma
Subject categories Economics


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.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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