White, Male, and Angry

From the bottom to the top of society, white men are angry. This paper provides a reputation-based rationale for this anger. Individuals care about their social reputation and engage in belief-motivated reasoning. In the presence of uncertainty, white men tend to have too high an opinion of their group, whether they belong to the elite or not. When new information reveal that the elite is biased in favor of white men, their reputation of all white men decreases causing a payoff loss and the anger that comes with it. I also show how policies in favor of disadvantaged groups can be supported by some white men and opposed by some individuals from the minority when social reputation is taken into account. Reducing white men’s privileges can have a very different effects from disclosing the advantage this group enjoys.

That is the abstract of a new paper by Stephane Wolton.  The piece has some subtle and oft-overlooked ideas, and it comes via the subtle Kevin Lewis.


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