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Does Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence from a Field Experiment

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  • Alison L. Booth
  • Andrew Leigh
  • Elena Varganova

Abstract

We conduct a large-scale audit discrimination study to measure labor market discrimination across different minority groups in Australia – a country where one quarter of the population was born overseas. To denote ethnicity, we use distinctively Anglo-Saxon, Indigenous, Italian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern names, and our goal is a comparison across multiple ethnic groups rather than focusing on a single minority as in most other studies. In all cases, we applied for entry-level jobs and submitted a CV showing that the candidate had attended high school in Australia. We find economically and statistically significant differences in callback rates, suggesting that ethnic minority candidates would need to apply for more jobs in order to receive the same number of interviews. These differences vary systematically across groups, with Italians (a more established migrant group) suffering less discrimination than Chinese and Middle Easterners (who have typically arrived more recently). We also explore various explanations for our empirical findings.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Oxford in its journal Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 74 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (08)
Pages: 547-573

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Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:74:y:2012:i:4:p:547-573

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References

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  1. Peter A. Riach & Judith Rich, 2004. "Deceptive Field Experiments of Discrimination: Are they Ethical?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 457-470, 08.
  2. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
  3. Mahuteau, Stéphane & Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja), 2008. "Do Migrants Get Good Jobs in Australia? The Role of Ethnic Networks in Job Search," IZA Discussion Papers 3489, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Booth, Alison L. & Leigh, Andrew, 2010. "Do Employers Discriminate by Gender? A Field Experiment in Female-Dominated Occupations," IZA Discussion Papers 4690, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Riach, Peter A & Rich, Judith, 1991. "Testing for Racial Discrimination in the Labour Market," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 239-56, September.
  6. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2002. "Public Policy and the Labor Market Adjustment of New Immigrants to Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 620, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Philip Oreopoulos, 2009. "Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Six Thousand Resumes," NBER Working Papers 15036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "Evidence of ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labor market using experimental data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 716-729, August.
  9. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1998. "What Has Economics to Say about Racial Discrimination?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 91-100, Spring.
  10. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "Implicit Discrimination in Hiring: Real World Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2764, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. repec:hal:journl:hal-00745109 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Anthony Edo & Nicolas Jacquemet & Constantine Yannelis, 2013. "Language Skills and Homophilous Hiring Discrimination: Evidence from Gender- and Racially-Differentiated Applications," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13058, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  3. Eva O. Arceo-Gomez & Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez, 2014. "Race and Marriage in the Labor Market: A Discrimination Correspondence Study in a Developing Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 376-80, May.
  4. Booth, Alison & Leigh, Andrew, 2010. "Do employers discriminate by gender? A field experiment in female-dominated occupations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 236-238, May.
  5. Jacquemet, Nicolas & Yannelis, Constantine, 2012. "Indiscriminate discrimination: A correspondence test for ethnic homophily in the Chicago labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 824-832.
  6. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Helland, Eric, 2011. "Bias in the Legal Profession: Self-Assessed versus Statistical Measures of Discrimination," IZA Discussion Papers 5831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Mujcic, Redzo & Frijters, Paul, 2013. "Still Not Allowed on the Bus: It Matters If You're Black or White!," IZA Discussion Papers 7300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00745109 is not listed on IDEAS

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