Blanc SHS 1 - Blanc - SHS 1 - Sociétés, espaces, organisations et marchés

Gender and Ethnic Discrimination in Markets: The Role of Space – GEDIM


Gender and Ethnic Discrimination in Markets: The Role of Space


The novelty of our project is to consider discrimination from an spatial perspective.<br />

We conduct both theoretical and empirical analysis using microdata

Our results so far have identified the presence of taste discrimination and consumer discrimination againts ethnic minorities.

The project is progressing as expected

1. Bruno Decreuse and Benoit Schmutz, 2012. Residential mobility and unemployment of African immigrants in France: a calibration approach, Annals of economics and statistics, 2012, 107-108.
2. Dolado, J.J., C. García Peñalosa and S. de la Rica, 2013. Economic Inquiry, 51 (3), 1829-48.
3. Benoit Schmutz, 2013. Public housing quotas and segregation, forthcoming, Urban Public Economics Review
4. Bosquet, C. and P.P. Combers. Are academics who publish more also more cited? Individual determinants of publication and citation records, Scientometrics, forthcoming.
5. Fougère, Denis, Francis Kramarz, Roland Rathelot, Mirna Safi, 2013, «Social housing and location choices of immigrants in France«, International Journal of Manpower, vol. 34, n° 1, p. 56-69.

This project intends to examine how the inclusion of spatial constraints can help us to better understand ethnic and gender discrimination. The basic idea is that people subject to prejudice may not have the same possibilities to choose their location as other individuals. In the case of women, it is clear that they are often required to follow their husband when the latter moves for professional reasons. It is then likely that women’s employment choices are less good than those of their spouses, and, specifically, that the quality of the match between the employer and the employee is less good for women than for men. If this is the case, then some of the wage gap between men and women should be explained by the location constraints that the latter face. Concerning ethnic minorities, their location choice is also likely to be constrained by the workings of the housing market. Because minorities tend to have a lower level of educational attainment, they receive lower wages and have less secure jobs. This makes them less attractive tenants/buyers in the private housing market and they are hence likely to find it more difficult to obtain accommodation than non-minority individuals. As a result ethnic minorities may be forced to rely on social housing and, since social housing is highly concentrated in certain areas of large cities, minorities will have access to only a subset of residential locations compared to the majority group. This outcome may be aggravated by the presence of discrimination. Such discrimination may occur on the housing market due to the ethnic prejudice of either the landlord or neighbours, or in the labour market itself. For example, customers may have ethnic ‘taste discrimination’ in jobs that require direct contact with the client. Since these jobs, just like social housing, tend to be concentrated in large cities, there will be a mismatch between the characteristics of the local labour force and of the local labour demand. The central aim of the project is to try to test this dual theory of discrimination for the two types of minorities –gender and ethnic. For each group, we will first develop models that capture the possible sources of gaps (in wages or employment) between majorities and minorities and identify testable implications. The second step will be to confront these predictions with the data.
Each major component of the analysis involves an empirical dimension, and will use several different data bases. For example, the analysis of ethnic discrimination in France will use the Census, the housing survey, the employment survey, investigation training and professional qualifications, and the permanent demographic sample. For the United States, we will use the census, the Public Use Microdata Sample, the General Social Survey. The study of labour market segmentation in China will make use of the China Household Income Project. Regarding gender, we will use both the World Value Survey, and firm-level data from the DADS.
Once the empirical analysis has validated (or not) our hypothesis that location constraints are an important element in understanding observed discrimination and wage or employment gaps by either gender or ethnicity, we want to try to understand the similarities and differences between both minority groups. What elements are specific to discrimination based on gender? And to discrimination based on ethnicity? Can we explain the differences between the two types of discrimination by looking at education investments, which in the case of women have attained those of white men but in the case of racial minorities have not?

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.



Help of the ANR 234,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months

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