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Americans Are Just as Racially Biased as Their Elected Representatives (7/14)

This is a Waseda Institute of Political Economy (WINPEC) seminar/ the 3rd workshop of Empirical/Positive Political Science Workshop (Coordinators Yuriko Takahashi , Airo Hino, Yunkyu Sohn, Atsushi Tago). This seminar is hosted by the WINPEC and Empirical/Positive Political Science and co-hosted by Top Global University Project at Waseda University. We are pleased to announce that the WINPEC and Empirical/Positive Political Science Workshop will jointly host a seminar inviting Prof. Charles Crabtree (Dartmouth College/ Tokyo Foundation). Please find below the details. We look forward to your participation. Thank you.

Event details

Date: July 14, Tuesday, 10:40-12:10 (JST) via Zoom webinar

Speaker: Charles Crabtree (Dartmouth College/ Tokyo Foundation)

Moderator: Atsushi Tago

Title: Americans Are Just as Racially Biased as Their Elected Representatives (joint with John B. Holbein (UVA) and Quin Monson (BYU)) Abstract: Elected officials discriminate against African Americans. Is this behavior a departure from or an alignment with what their constituents want and would, in fact, do themselves when given the chance? In this article, we present the results from a novel large-scale field experimental technique designed to benchmark levels of racial bias among elected officials to the constituents they serve. We conducted the first audit study on the public—sending correspondence to 250,000 randomly-drawn citizens—and paired that with the largest audit study of public officials to date. Our within-subjects experimental design tested the public’s and their elected officials’ responsiveness to simple informational requests from either an ostensibly black or an ostensibly white sender. We show clearly that the public systematically discriminates against African Americans. This discrimination is rampant and suggests that the public is just as racially biased as their elected representatives. This suggests that improved democratic representation that more closely aligns elected officials with the preferences of their constituents may actually incentivize—rather than discourage, as many have assumed—elected officials to discriminate on the basis of race. Our results provide an instance that shows that \emph{even when} elected officials are aligned with what their constituents want, and would do themselves, democracy may realize outcomes that perpetuate long-lasting social inequalities. Our results also provide a window into the discrimination that African Americans in this country face in day-to-day interactions with their fellow citizens.

⇒Registration URL

This is a webinar using Zoom. If you would like to participate, please register from the following URL. There are two types of participation, so we would appreciate it if you could let us know your preferences when you register.

(1)Panelists (Video is on and you can ask questions and comment anytime.) (2)Other Participants (Video off, questions and comments using the Q & A tab)


Coordinators: Yuriko Takahashi ([email protected]), Atsushi Tago, Airo Hino, Yunkyu Sohn

co-hosted by Top Global University Project at Waseda University


  • 0714



via Zoom webinar


Tue, 07 Jul 2020

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