Identity and Underrepresentation
We analyze economic underrepresentation as a product of identity-dependent norms. The larger a group’s representation in an economic activity (e.g. education, high-status occupation), the more the activity is deemed ‘appropriate’ for its members. The dynamic feedback between a group’s representation and its norms of economic participation produces more severe and robust forms of inequality than previously found. Equality of opportunity almost never results in equal outcomes, even when groups have the same productivity. Minorities and historically discriminated groups tend to be underrepresented. Glass ceilings emerge endogenously, as identity concerns cause underrepresentation to escalate at senior levels. These problems are not easily solved using standard policy tools. Identity-based quotas reduce economic output and temporary interventions are insufficient. When identities are multidimensional (e.g. race and gender), reducing underrepresentation along one identity dimension can increase underrepresentation along another. Hence the common reductionist approach of addressing inequality dimension by dimension often fails. Our results suggest that underrepresentation may be an intractable outcome of group identity.

Details found here:
Date: 14 May 2019, 12:45 (Tuesday, 3rd week, Trinity 2019)
Venue: Nuffield College, New Road OX1 1NF
Venue Details: Butler Room of D staircase
Speaker: Bary Pradelski (CNRS)
Organising department: Department of Economics
Part of: Learning, Games and Network Seminar
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Melis Clark