NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Moses Shayo

Department of Economics
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jerusalem 91905, Israel

E-Mail: mshayo@huji.ac.il
Institutional Affiliation: Hebrew University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2019How Do We Choose Our Identity? A Revealed Preference Approach Using Food Consumption
with David Atkin, Eve Colson-Sihra: w25693
Are identities fungible? How do people come to identify with specific groups? This paper proposes a revealed preference approach, using food consumption to uncover ethnic and religious identity choices in India. We first show that consumption of identity goods (e.g. beef and pork) systematically responds to forces suggested by social-identity research: group status and group salience, with the latter proxied by inter-group conflict. Moreover, identity choices respond to the cost of following the group's prescribed behaviors. We propose and estimate a modified demand system to quantify the identity changes that followed India's 1991 economic reforms. While social-identity research has focused on status and salience, economic costs appear to play a dominant role.
August 2018Charity Begins at Home (and at School): Effects of Religion-Based Discrimination in Education
with Victor Lavy, Edith Sand: w24922
Religions often preach preferential treatment of fellow believers. This paper examines whether one’s religious status (secular or religious) leads one to discriminate against people with a different religious status; how this affects human capital formation; and whether this discrimination is affected by exposure to others with a different religious orientation. We develop a method of detecting individual religious status and apply it to study grading decisions on national matriculation exams in Israel’s Jewish state education. Comparing grades given by religious versus secular examiners to religious versus secular students, we find evidence of in-group bias. This bias is almost entirely driven by male examiners. Exploiting bunching in the grade distribution, we are able to examine who dri...
 
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