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The study of discrimination 

Labour-market 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. This is particularly important for the future of our increasingly diverse European societies. The study of discrimination poses, however, major methodological challenges for social and behavioural scientists.

Our aim

Directed by Javier Polavieja, the D-Lab at IPP-CSIC is aimed at advancing the scientific study of discrimination and social inequality by promoting rigorous empirical research and methodological innovation. The lab provides a unique infrastructure to carry out cutting-edge field-experimental research on labour-market discrimination in Spain. 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 reference for the study of discrimination both in Europe and beyond.

Our research projects

The D-lab runs 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. Current activities are financed by the D-Project, another competitive grant from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. As part of the GEMM project, the D-Lab participated in a unique comparative field-experiment on ethnic discrimination in employment, which we carried out simultaneously in five European countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and Spain. The D-Project includes new field and survey experiments, which will shed new light on ethnic and appearance-based discrimination in hiring and it is expected to soon open additional lab and lab-in-the-field online experiments that will help us  explore the cognitive basis of prejudice, the role of basic emotions in boundary-making processes  or the role of social nors against hate speech, amongst others.


The D-Lab includes a core team plus associate fellows. The core team is currently formed by three Research Fellows, one Predoctoral Fellow, one  ICT Fellow, three Research Assistants, plus the PI. Associate fellows of the lab are academics from institutions both within UC3M 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. 

Advisory board

The D-Lab's advisory board includes world-leading experts in the fields of migration, social inequality and experimental research.


 A brief clip on the GEMM project here

Radio interview (SER) on our findings 


 15m interview on the                           D-Lab here

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