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Statistical Discrimination

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Published in The Philosophers' Magazine. 2016
Abstract Racial discrimination uses race as grounds to discriminate in the treatment owed to others; sexual discrimination uses people’s sexual features as grounds for determining how they should be treated compared to others. Analogously, statistical discrimination treats statistical inferences about the groups to which individuals belong as grounds for discriminating amongst them in thought, word and deed. Examples of statistical discrimination include the employer who won’t hire women of childbearing age, because they are likely to take maternity leave at some point in their careers; or insurers who wish to charge more to young drivers than to more experienced ones, because they are more likely to have accidents than the latter – or to favour women over men in the cost of premiums for similar reasons. Finally, a famous – infamous – example of statistical discrimination is racial profiling for police purposes, where statistical evidence of differential propensities to crime are used to justify preventive police measures, such as ‘stop and search’, which mainly target young black men, and other racialized minorities. So, what should we make of statistical discrimination?
Keywords Statistical discriminationSexual equalityRacial profilingSexual discriminationRacial discrimination
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LEVER, Annabelle. Statistical Discrimination. In: The Philosophers' Magazine, 2016. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:80477

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Deposited on : 2016-02-05

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