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Roma and Bureaucrats: A Field Experiment in the Czech Republic

Štěpán Mikula and Josef Montag

This paper tests for discriminatory treatment of Roma minority by public officials in the Czech Republic. Our focus is on public servants at job centers who work with unemployed individuals and process applications for unemployment benefits. We test for the presence of ethnic and socioeconomic discrimination of Roma by emailing a simple information request and randomly varying signals of ethnicity and literacy. We find substantial evidence for both. Because Roma tend to have lower socioeconomic status, the two sources of discrimination compound for them.

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