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Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Thirteen Thousand Resumes

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  • Philip Oreopoulos

Abstract

Thousands of randomly manipulated resumes were sent in response to online job postings in Toronto to investigate why immigrants, allowed in based on skill, struggle in the labor market. The study finds substantial discrimination across a variety of occupations towards applicants with foreign experience or those with Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, and Greek names compared with English names. Listing language fluency, multinational firm experience, education from highly selective schools, or active extracurricular activities had no diminishing effect. Recruiters justify this behavior based on language skill concerns but fail to fully account for offsetting features when listed. (JEL J15, J24, J61)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/pol.3.4.148
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 148-71

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:148-71

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.4.148
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References

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  1. Nicolas Jacquemet & Constantine Yannelis, 2011. "Indiscriminate Discrimination: A Correspondence Test for Ethnic Homophily in the Chicago Labor Market," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 11013, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  2. Charles Beach & Alan G. Green & Christopher Worswick, 2006. "Impacts of the Point System and Immigration Policy Levers on Skill Characteristics of Canadian Immigrants," Working Papers 1115, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 820-867, October.
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  7. Morissette, Rene & Frenette, Marc, 2003. "Will They Ever Converge? Earnings of Immigrants and Canadian-born Workers over the Last Two Decades," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003215e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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  10. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
  11. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "Automatic associations and discrimination in hiring: Real world evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 523-534, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jennifer Hunt, 2013. "Are Immigrants the Best and Brightest U.S. Engineers?," NBER Working Papers 18696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Morten Hedegaard & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2014. "The Price of Prejudice," Discussion Papers 14-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. John M. Nunley & Adam Pugh & Nicholas Romero & Richard Alan Seals, Jr., 2014. "Unemployment, Underemployment, and Employment Opportunities: Results from a Correspondence Audit of the Labor Market for College Graduates," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-04, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
  4. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2013. "Testing for discrimination against lesbians of different marital status: A field experiment," NRN working papers 2013-06, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  5. Liliana D. Sousa, 2013. "Human Capital Traps? Enclave Effects Using Linked Employer-Household Data," Working Papers 13-29, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln & Prachi Mishra, 2014. "The Dynamics of Firm Lobbying," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp1072, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  7. Anthony Edo & Nicolas Jacquemet, 2014. "Discrimination à l'embauche selon l'origine et le genre : défiance indifférenciée ou ciblée sur certains groupes ?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00935241, HAL.
  8. John M. Nunley & Adam Pugh & Nicholas Romero & Richard Alan Seals, Jr., 2014. "College Major, Internship Experience, and Employment Opportunities: Estimates from a Résumé Audit," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-03, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
  9. Sweetman, Arthur & van Ours, Jan C., 2014. "Immigration: What about the Children and Grandchildren?," IZA Discussion Papers 7919, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Jacques Poot & Bridget Daldy & Matthew Roskruge, 2013. "Perception of workplace discrimination among immigrants and native born New Zealanders," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 16(1), pages 137-154.
  11. John M. Nunley & Adam Pugh & Nicholas Romero & Richard Alan Seals, Jr., 2014. "An Examination of Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Estimates from the Field," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-06, Department of Economics, Auburn University.

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