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Funded (competitive) projects at the D-Lab


Pushing the Boundaries of Research on Ethno-Racial Discrimination in Hiring

The Pushing the Boundaries of Research on Ethno-Racial Discrimination in Hiring (D-Project) seeks to advance our understanding of ethno-racial discrimination by investigating firms’ recruiting practices in real-life settings, with special attention to both Europe and the Spanish case. Funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (PID2020-119558GB-I00), the D-Project will fill important gaps in the migrant incorporation, the social stratification and the field-experimental literatures, by providing new evidence, new concepts, innovative identification strategies and new methodological tools for the study of ethno-racial discrimination. The project is divided in three working packages: 1) Ethno-racial discrimination (WP1); 2) Intra-European ethnic boundaries (WP2); and 3) Methodological innovations in field-experimental research. We will exploit data produced by three field-experiments: 1) the GEMM discrimination study, which is the largest harmonized field experiment on ethnic discrimination in hiring ever conducted in Europe (already completed); 2) the adopted children study, an innovative experiment that will allow us to identify `pure’ racial discrimination in hiring (to be completed in year 2 of the project); and 3) the phenotype-beauty experiment, that will allow us to investigate the interplay of applicants’ phenotype, gender, physical attractiveness and ethnicity in eliciting employers’ responses (to  be entirely carried out during the lifetime of the D-project). The project is led by Javier Polavieja (PI) and has a total budget of over 165,000 Euros



Social Norms in the Political Domain

The Social Norms in the Political Domain (NORPOL) project aims to explore the intricate relationship between social norms and political behavior within the context of increasing political polarization, sectarianism, and extremism in Western democracies. Funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (PID2022-136474NB-I00), this project intends to investigate the existence and variation of political norms, as well as individual willingness to adhere to and enforce these norms through sanctions. The project outlines a series of specific objectives: 1) to investigate social norms across various social divides, assessing the absence or presence of norms against hostilities across party lines and potential alternative norms favoring political animosity; 2) to delve into the impact of individual characteristics, such as political knowledge, education, gender, and urban/rural background, on adherence to political norms; 3) to analyze the variation of political norms across different social and political contexts; 4) to test whether individuals are willing to enforce counter-normative political preferences through social sanctions and explore its correlates; 5) to study the willingness to impose direct sanctions; 6) to examine the willingness to impose indirect sanctions, including behaviors like avoidance and gossip, while considering their perceived appropriateness and potential side effects; 7) to investigate norm enforcement in politically segregated contexts, exploring whether social sanctions are imposed not only for specific political views but for the mere expression of any political view; and 8) drawing on empirical insights, to develop norm-based interventions aimed at reducing interpersonal hostilities. This comprehensive approach seeks to shed light on the pivotal role of social norms in shaping political dynamics and offers potential solutions to address the challenges posed by contemporary political landscapes.The project is led by Amalia ¨Álvarez and Luis Miller (PSs) and has a total budget of 112,000 Euros,


Leonardo Grant

Social Norms & Discrimination Based on Political Ideology  Societies

In the Social norms and discrimination based on political ideology, Luis Miller (IP) investigates why political identity has become the most important social divide in the Twenty-First Century? A fast-growing literature in economics and political science has established the primacy of partyism over other relevant social divides, like race, ethnicity, religion, or national identity. Funded by the Leornardo Grant Programme of the BBVA Foundation (2022: LEO22-2-2713-ECS-SOC-115), this project argues that the absence of strong norms regulating partyism may explain its development. Continued permissiveness of political hatred, at the same time as the development of norms against other types of hatred, may have redirected group animosity that would otherwise be expressed along other dimensions of identity, but where it is no longer acceptable, towards the political domain. We provide empirical evidence to support our argument. This comes from a set of laboratory experiments designed to study the role of social norms in political and other types of social intergroup interactions. We focus specifically on interpersonal discrimination, which can be regarded as one manifestation of intergroup hostility and, on the political domain, one of the “dark consequences” of polarization. Previous studies have reported discrimination based on political affiliation in the labour market, in college admissions, and in everyday economic interactions. In our experiments, we employed a standard norm-elicitation task to establish the social appropriateness of economic discrimination along different dimensions of social identity, as well as an incentivized task to measure such discrimination on each dimension. The project is led by Luis Miller and has a total budget of 40,000 Euros.


Social Norms in Democratic Societies

Carried out by Amalia Álvarez-Benjumea, th project Social Norms in Democratic Societies studies conditions under which social norms change and emerge, norm perception, and conformity to social norms in democratic societies. Funded by The Ministry of Science and Innovation (RYC2021-032079-I), the project focuses on social norms stigmatizing the overt expression of prejudice, such as racism, xenophobia, or sexism. Social norms against the public expression of views considered politically incorrect developed over the last decades. They constitute a powerful deterrent to prejudice in modern societies. However, these norms have been under threat in recent years with the rise of hate speech online and the proliferation of populist parties and leaders seeking to mobilize hostility towards minorities. This project investigates the role of social norms as a bulwark against hate speech online, how anti-prejudice norms are affected by sudden events, or how populist political rhetoric can undermine these norms. The project uses a variety of methodological approaches, from survey and field experiments to quasi-experimental designs, to study these norms in both online and offline contexts, as well as measure differences in the norm between distinct social targets and contexts. 


Economic Decisions: Foundations, Experiments & Applications

The goal of the  Economic Decisions: Foundations, Experiments and Applications

is the theoretical and experimental study of decision-making by economic agents in different types of situations with strategic interaction with other agents and uncertainty, either in static or dynamic contexts. Funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (PID2021-125155NB-I00), the project is structured around three main areas of research. The first deals with the theoretical and experimental analysis of situations of strategic interaction in contexts of an environmental nature. The second area of research focuses on the theoretical and experimental analysis of belief formation, paying particular attention to quasi-Bayesian inference models with limited attention and memory. We are here particularly interested in three potential factors that may cause individuals to omit data and states of the world, thus leading to systematically simplified representations of any relatively complex random experiment. The third area of research proposes, on the one hand, the experimental analysis of various behavioral aspects related to decision-making, and on the other hand, experiments on different types of markets. The behavioral aspects concern both the study of social preferences inequality aversion, reciprocity, altruism, dishonesty - and social norms, as well as aspects related to overconfidence, heuristics, mental accounting, status quo,  anchoring bias and herd behaviour, our objective being to analyze the behavior of individuals in risk situations, as occurs for example with financial decision-making. The project is led by Raúl López and has a total budget of 59,200 Euros.


Carried out by Turkay Nefes, the project Causes and Consequences of Conspiracy Theories is a 5-year research endeavor exploring the social and political implications of conspiracy theories in Turkey and Spain. This project receives funding from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through a Ramon y Cajal research grant (RYC2018-023919-I). The project employs a diverse range of research methodologies to analyze the effects of conspiracy theories, including the examination of survey data, analysis of parliamentary records, laboratory experiments, and in-depth interviews. You can readily access the findings of this research here

Causes & Consequences of Conspiracy Theories

The Growth, Equal Opportunities Migrations and Markets project (GEMM) is funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Union (Grant Agreement 649255). GEMM addresses the challenges and barriers that European countries face in managing the mobility of persons to realize competitiveness and growth. For markets to function optimally, we identify two migration-related drivers of growth: the efficient use of existing human capital and managing mobility of human capital both from within and from outside Europe. A key barrier for these drivers to contribute to growth is ethnic inequality. Inequality can be a result of the skill composition and resources of the migrant population, but also of markets not functioning optimally, for example due to ethnic discrimination, economic conditions or institutional arrangements that affect the flexibility of the labour market. Consequently, inequality can result in economic decline, the inability to face the demographic challenge in Europe, a scarcity of skilled labour, or an innovation deficit. The contribution of the GEMM project is to deliver an in-depth assessment of the two drivers of growth and their relation to ethnic inequality in the European labour market. We achieve this through a unified WP research agenda that focuses on different types of migrants defined by the qualifications they possess. Depth is added by considering different determinants of inequality at three levels: individual; contextual; and institutional. GEMM strives for scientific rigour and balance that better reflect the multi-faceted migration phenomenon. Led by Javier Polavieja (PI), the Spanish team of the GEMM project participates in 3 working packages with a total team budget of over 400,000 Euros.

The New Approaches to Integration Research project (NewAIR) is funded by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (CSO2016-78452-P). The primary goal of this project is to advance our understanding of international migrants’ integration processes in European societies. NewAIR sets out to analyze immigrant’s integration  by looking at processes of labour market incorporation and cultural adaptation. A unique contribution of this project is the development and application of innovative methodologies to the study of integration research, including i) the use of innovative field experiments to investigate discrimination across various ethnic groups and dimensions of ethnicity,  and iii) the use of advanced quantitative methods to estimate the role of culture, discrimination and non-random selection in attainment processes.
The NewAIR project is a continuation of
the CALMA project (Competition, Adaptation and Labour Market Attainment of International Migrants in Europe), funded by by the VI Plan Nacional de Investigación Científica, Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (CSO2012-38521). The CALMA project has already produced a host of high-impact-factor publications and  has fostered intensive international collaboration leading to one funded Horizon 2020 project (the Growth, Employment, Equal Opportunities, Migration and Markets Project, GEMM). NewAIR builds on the accumulated evidence, expertise, networks and resources of both the CALMA and GEMM projects and will help us consolidate an internationally-recognized hub of excellence in immigration research at Carlos III. 
Led by Javier Polavieja (PI), NewAir has a total budget of 97,000 Euros.

New Approaches to Integration Resarch

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