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Bartoš, Vojtěch; Bauer, Michal; Chytilova, Julie; Matějka, Filip (June 2016): Attention Discrimination. Theory and Field Experiments with Monitoring Information Acquisition. In: American Economic Review, Vol. 106, No. 6
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Abstract

We integrate tools to monitor information acquisition in field experiments on discrimination and examine whether gaps arise already when decision makers choose the effort level for reading an application. In both countries we study, negatively stereotyped minority names reduce employers' effort to inspect resumes. In contrast, minority names increase information acquisition in the rental housing market. Both results are consistent with a model of endogenous allocation of costly attention, which magnifies the role of prior beliefs and preferences beyond the one considered in standard models of discrimination. The findings have implications for magnitude of discrimination, returns to human capital and policy.