NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Discrimination as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from French Grocery Stores

Dylan Glover, Amanda Pallais, William Pariente

NBER Working Paper No. 22786
Issued in October 2016
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

Examining the performance of cashiers in a French grocery store chain, we find that manager bias negatively affects minority job performance. In the stores studied, cashiers work with different managers on different days and their schedules are determined quasi-randomly. When minority cashiers, but not majority cashiers, are scheduled to work with managers who are biased (as determined by an Implicit Association Test), they are absent more often, spend less time at work, scan items more slowly, and take more time between customers. Manager bias has consequences for the average performance of minority workers: while on average minority and majority workers perform equivalently, on days where managers are unbiased, minorities perform significantly better than do majority workers. This appears to be because biased managers interact less with minorities, leading minorities to exert less effort.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22786

Published: Dylan Glover & Amanda Pallais & William Pariente, 2017. "Discrimination as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from French Grocery Stores*," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 132(3), pages 1219-1260.

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