June 2023

IZA DP No. 16218: Roma and Bureaucrats: A Field Experiment on Ethnic and Socioeconomic Discrimination

This paper tests for discriminatory treatment of the Roma minority by public officials in the Czech Republic at the stage of initial contact preceding a potential application for unemployment benefit. Our correspondence experiment facilitates testing for the presence of each of two intertwined drivers of discrimination: ethnic animus and socioeconomic status prejudice. We find substantial evidence for the presence of discrimination based on both of these sources. Since Roma tend to have lower socioeconomic status, the two sources of discrimination compound for them.