Publications of Gabor Kezdi

Seeing the world through the other’s eye: An online intervention reducing ethnic prejudice

We report the results of an intervention that targeted anti-Roma sentiment in Hungary using an online perspective-taking game. We evaluated the impact of this intervention using a randomized experiment in which a sample of young adults played this perspective-taking game, or an unrelated online game. Participation in the perspective-taking game markedly reduced prejudice, with an effect-size equivalent to half the difference between voters of the far-right and the center-right party. The effects persisted for at least a month, and, as a byproduct, the intervention also reduced antipathy toward refugees, another stigmatized group in Hungary, and decreased vote intentions for Hungary's overtly racist, far-right party by 10%. Our study offers a proof-of-concept for a general class of interventions that could be adapted to different settings and implemented at low costs.

Economic hardship triggers identification with disadvantaged minorities

We explore the effect of economic hardship on the identification with a disadvantaged ethnic minority using longitudinal data on 10,000 adolescents in Hungary. Fixed-effects and first-differenced panel models show that adolescents having Roma descent are more likely to identify as Roma when their families experience economic hardship, an effect strongest among adolescents with mixed-ethnicity parents. Adolescents who identify as Roma are substantially less prejudiced against the Roma and less supportive of exclusionary policies than those with Roma descent but not identifying as Roma. These findings support self-perception-based theories of ethnic identification and imply that changes in ethnic identity can reinforce stereotypes.

Stock market crash and expectations of American households

This paper documents and decomposes the test score gap between Roma and non-Roma 8th graders in Hungary in 2006. Our data connect national standardized test scores to an individual panel survey with detailed data on ethnicity and family background. The test score gap is approximately one standard deviation for both reading and mathematics, which is similar to the gap between African-American and White students of the same age group in the US in the 1980s. After accounting for on health, parenting, school fixed effects and family background, the gap disappears in reading and drops to 0.15 standard deviation in mathematics.