Monday, 8 October 2012

Ethnic and Social Class Discrimination in Education - Experimental Evidence from Germany

Presentation by Sebastian E. Wenz (University of Bamberg) at the CO:STA Colloquium

Experimental designs become more popular by the day, because they allow to test causal claims. But experiments are also important from a measurement point of view.  "Holding everything else constant" allows researchers to investigate how people are treated differently solely on the basis of their ascriptive characteristics; experiments allow to measure discrimination.Sebastian E. Wenz and Kerstin Hoenig conducted a web experiment in which randomly sampled  elementary school teachers were asked to evaluate an essay written by a fourth-grader. They varied essay quality, but also the name of  student who allegedly authored the essay. In the German context, Ayse, Murat, Jacqueline, Justin, Sophie, Jakob imply gender, ethnic and socio-economic background.This design allows to disentangle ethnic discrimination from class based discrimination.