Identity and Bias: Insights from Driving Tests∗

Revital Bar, Asaf Zussman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


How does one's identity affect the evaluation of others? To shed light on this question, we analyse the universe of driving tests conducted in Israel between 2006 and 2015, leveraging the effectively random assignment of students and testers to tests. We find strong and robust evidence of both ethnic (Arab/Jewish) in-group bias and gender out-group bias. While the first result is in line with the typical finding in the literature, the second is novel. Analyses of administrative and survey data suggest a utility-based interpretation for the observed patterns: Testers seem to reward members of groups whose company they enjoy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number625
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the editor, Hans-Joachim Voth, two anonymous referees, Ian Ayres, Simon Jager, David Neumark, Gautam Rao and audiences at the Bank of Israel, Bar Ilan University, Ben Gurion University, EALE, Hebrew University, I-Core, SOLE, Tel Aviv University, University of Exeter, University of Warwick and the Weizmann Institute of Science for useful comments and to Hanania Afangar, Ella Dorfman, Galia Hardon, Effi Rozen, Dalit Tamari and Elena Zlocisty from the Israeli Ministry of Transport and Road Safety for their help with the data. Financial support for the project was generously provided by the I-Core Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee at the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 1821/12). Surveys conducted as part of this project were approved by the Hebrew University’s Ethics Committee for Research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Royal Economic Society. Published by Oxford University Press.


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