Journal article

Endophilia or Exophobia: Beyond Discrimination

J Feld, N Salamanca, DS Hamermesh

Economic Journal | Wiley | Published : 2016


The discrimination literature treats outcomes as relative. But does a differential arise because agents discriminate against others - exophobia - or because they favour their own kind - endophilia? Using a field experiment that assigned graders randomly to students' examinations that did/did not contain names, we find favouritism but no discrimination by nationality nor by gender. We are able to identify these preferences under a wide range of behavioural scenarios regarding the graders. That endophilia dominates exophobia alters how we should measure discriminatory wage differentials and should inform the formulation of anti-discrimination policy.


Awarded by Australian Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Jeannette Hommes, Ad van Iterson and Caroline Kortbeek for their assistance in making this experiment possible. Eric Bonsang, Adam Booij, George Borjas, Deborah Cobb-Clark, Thomas Dohmen, Hannah Ebin, Matthew Embrey, Andries de Grip, Ilyana Kuziemko, Corinne Low, Arjan Non, Christopher Parsons, Joseph Price, Stephen Trejo, participants in seminars at a number of universities and institutes, several referees and especially Leigh Linden, provided very helpful comments. This research was supported by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course (project number CE140100027). The Centre is administered by the Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland, with nodes at The University of Western Australia, The University of Melbourne and The University of Sydney. The views expressed herein are solely those of the authors. The Board of Examiners of the School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University formally approved this project.