The study of inequality & discrimination
The study of inequality and discrimination is a core area of research in the social sciences. At the D-Lab we believe research in this core area can be significantly advanced by the use of experimental methods and the adoption of an interdisciplinary behavioural approach. We are interested in the study of the social and behavioural mechanisms affecting human capital formation and attainment-relevant choices, on the supply side, as well as in the study of discriminatory behaviour, on the demand side. We have a special interest in investigating discrimination because discrimination is both unjust and inefficient: it hurts people, it heightens inequality and it hampers economic growth. If we want to combat discrimination, we need to understand how it works.
Directed by Javier Polavieja, the D-Lab at IPP-CSIC is aimed at advancing the scientific study of socioeconomic inequality and discrimination by promoting interdisciplinary exchange, rigorous empirical research and methodological innovation within a broadly defined behavioural-experimental approach. The D-Lab is part of the Research Group on Behavioural Social Sciences (BeSS) at IPP. It provides a unique infrastructure to carry out cutting-edge field-experimental, survey experimental, lab experimental and online experimental research and methodological innovation on topics related to inequality and discrimination. Launched in 2018 at Carlos III University of Madrid, the D-Lab moved to IPP-CSIC in 2023, where it is expected to increase its reputation as a centre of excellence in the experimental study of inequality and discrimination both in Europe and beyond.
Our research projects
The D-lab runs exclusivey on competitive research grants. It was originally funded with financial support from two large competitive projects: the GEMM project, financed by the EU, and the NewAIR project, financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Currently, the D-Lab hosts six nationally-funded projects covering research on ethnic and appearance-based discrimination in hiring, identity polarization and political discrimination, online hate speech, hoax diffusion, norm change, pro-social and anti-social behaviour, and the cognitive and emotional basis of prejudice and social categoriation, amongst others.
The D-Lab includes a core team plus associate fellows. The core team currently includes seven Research Fellows, four Predoctoral Fellows and three Research Assistants. Associate fellows of the lab are academics from institutions both within the CSIC and further afield who are collaborating with lab researchers on specific research projects.
The lab offers on-the-project training for both undergraduate and PhD students and it is a springboard for young scholars’ early career development.
The D-Lab's advisory board includes world-leading experts in the fields of migration, social inequality and experimental research.