/ WP3



Discrimination is not only problematic in terms of fairness, but it also limits a society’s capacity to employ and attract human resources most effectively and thus is a major barrier to growth.  Ethnic discrimination can also be an obstacle in attracting (highly-skilled) new migrants, both from within and outside of Europe (explored in detail in WP4). Therefore, in order to realize an optimal functioning market and sustainable growth, we need to understand the causes of discrimination, how discrimination varies across individuals and ethnic groups, and its relationship with institutional and contextual determinants.

The project seeks to advance our understanding of the following three key issues:

  • The extent and causes of variation in discrimination across ethnic groups, including prospective migrants and various skill levels.
  • The relative importance of ethnic preferences and dislikes (“taste discrimination”) and information deficiencies (“statistical discrimination”) in explaining variations in discrimination.
  • The extent and causes of contextual variation in levels of discrimination across regions and countries (informing WP5 on institutional arrangements).


WP3 employs an innovative field-experimental research design that allows for the comparative analysis of discrimination across a large number of ethnic groups, as well as looking at various dimensions of ethnicity (cultural distance, religion, language) and skill level of migrant. This analysis covers five strategically selected countries: Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Norway and the Netherlands.

The figure below represents the specific tasks.


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