Electoral Quotas and Intersectional Discrimination

With: Jonah Foong and Kimuli Kasara

A Lab-in-field Experiment on Leadership Selection in Kenya

Discrimination occurs when equivalently qualified people are treated differently because of their identity. A key question is this: does discrimination on one dimension exacerbate discrimination on another? We conducted a lab-in-field experiment with the Busara lab in Nairobi to understand whether double-discrimination occurs when people are incentivized to pick a person to perform a task. We considered three factors potentially shaping discrimination on one or both dimensions as well as their interaction: (1) the presence of electoral quotas; (2) objective information on candidate performance; (3) the opportunity to discuss choices in diverse groups. While we find evidence of discrimination against women and outgroups we find little evidence of double-discrimination in any condition.