Gary Becker - Discrimination


Discrimination as defined by Kenneth Arrow is "the valuation in the market place of personal characteristics of the worker that are unrelated to worker productivity." Personal characteristics can be physical features such as sex or race, or other characteristics such as a person's religion, caste, or national origin.

Becker often includes a variable of taste for discrimination in explaining behavior. He believes that people often mentally increase the cost of a transaction if it is with a minority against which they discriminate. His theory held that competition decreases discrimination. If firms were able to specialize in employing mainly minorities and offer a better product or service, such a firm could bypass discrepancy in wages between equally productive blacks and whites or equally productive females and males.

Becker's research found that when minorities are a very small percentage the cost of discrimination mainly falls on the minorities. However, when minorities represent a larger percentage of society, the cost of discrimination falls on both the minorities and the majority. He also pioneered research on the impact of self-fulfilling prophecies of teachers and employers on minorities. Such attitudes often lead to less investment in productive skills and education of minorities.

Gary Becker recognized that people (employers, customers, and employees) sometimes do not want to work with minorities because they have preference against the disadvantaged groups. He goes on to say that discrimination increases the cost of the firm because in discriminating against certain workers, the employer would have to pay more so that work can proceed without them. If the employer employs the minority, low wages can be provided, but more people can be employed, and productivity can be increased.

Read more about this topic:  Gary Becker

Other articles related to "discrimination":

Equality Act 2010 - Background
... The Discrimination Law Review was established in 2005 to develop the legislation and was led by the Government Equalities Office ... the law by bringing together existing anti-discrimination legislation ... The Equality Act 2010 has replaced the Equal Pay Act 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Employment Equality (Religi ...
Equality Act 2010
... the complicated and numerous array of Acts and Regulations, which formed the basis of anti-discrimination law in Great Britain ... was, primarily, the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and three major statutory instruments protecting ...
Freedom Of Religion In Uzbekistan - Societal Abuses and Discrimination
... and churches with ethnic Uzbek converts encountered difficulties stemming from discrimination ... There were persistent reports that ethnic Uzbeks who converted to Christianity faced discrimination and harassment ... There was no pattern of discrimination against Jews ...
Freedom Of Religion In Austria - Societal Abuses and Discrimination
... See also Societal abuse and Religious discrimination There was a report of a physical attack against a person and a violent attack against property (see Anti-Semitism) ... However, some societal mistrust and discrimination continued against members of some unrecognized religious groups, particularly against those considered to be members of sects ... During 2006 there were 32 cases of discrimination based on religion brought before the Equal Rights Commissioner ...