Dan McGee is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Economics, focusing on behavioural economics and economic theory. His dissertation research focuses on how prejudiced beliefs and discriminatory behaviour can arise as the product of incentives that individuals face. These incentives tend to perpetuate prejudicial beliefs and behaviours as stable features of social environments. In this framework, race is a sociopolitical tool used to mark certain individuals for different treatment in a society by referring to certain physical and cultural traits and an ideology used to legitimize the inequalities arising from the use of this tool.
Hence, discrimination is advantage-seeking behaviour by the discriminating group, rather than an expression of random prejudices or a rational response to group differences. Likewise, prejudice and stereotypes arise as the product of deliberate motivated reasoning for both material and ideological purposes and not as the product of innocuous cognitive error, such as limited attention or memory. Finally, racial categories themselves are endogenously determined as a product of social interactions, not exogenous categories to which individuals inescapably belong.
Dan received his undergraduate degree from Queen’s University (Kingston).