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Labor market discrimination in Delhi: Evidence from a field experiment

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  • Banerjee, Abhijit
  • Bertrand, Marianne
  • Datta, Saugato
  • Mullainathan, Sendhil

Abstract

We study the role of caste and religion in India's new economy sectors--software and call-centers--by sending 3160 fictitious resumes in response to 371 job openings in and around Delhi (India) that were advertised in major city papers and online job sites. We randomly allocate caste-linked surnames across resumes in order to isolate the effect of caste on applicants' job-search outcomes. We find no evidence of discrimination against non-upper-caste (i.e. Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, and Other Backward Caste) applicants for software jobs. We do find large and significant differences between callback rates for upper-castes and Other Backward Castes (and to a lesser extent Scheduled Castes) in the case of call-center jobs. There is no evidence of discrimination against Muslims for either of the two kinds of jobs we apply for. Overall, the evidence suggests that applicants' caste identities do not significantly affect the callback decisions of firms. Journal of Comparative Economics 37 (1) (2009) 14-27.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 14-27

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:37:y:2009:i:1:p:14-27

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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Keywords: Discrimination Caste India Hiring Field experiment Resume audit;

References

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  1. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "Can labour regulation hinder economic performance? Evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3779, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Juan Botero, 2003. "The Regulation of Labor," NBER Working Papers 9756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  4. Ahsan, Ahmad & Pagés, Carmen, 2008. "Are All Labor Regulations Equal? Evidence from Indian Manufacturing," IZA Discussion Papers 3394, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Amin, Mohammad, 2009. "Labor regulation and employment in India's retail stores," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 47-61, March.
  6. Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Francisco Galarza & Gustavo Yamada, 2011. "Labor Market Discrimination in Lima, Peru: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Working Papers 14-01, Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico, revised Dec 2011.
  2. Eva O. Arceo-Gomez & Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez, 2013. "Race and Marriage in the Labor Market: A Discrimination Correspondence Study in a Developing Country," Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos 2013-03, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos.
  3. Francisco Galarza & Liuba Kogan & Gustavo Yamada, 2011. "¿Existe discriminación en el mercado laboral de Lima Metropolitana? Un análisis experimental," Working Papers 11-15, Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico, revised Dec 2011.
  4. Raymond Fisman & Daniel Paravisini & Vikrant Vig, 2012. "Cultural Proximity and Loan Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 18096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Howard, Larry L. & Prakash, Nishith, 2011. "Do Employment Quotas Explain the Occupational Choices of Disadvantaged Minorities in India?," IZA Discussion Papers 5894, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Eric Zitzewitz, 2012. "Forensic Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 731-69, September.
  7. Rema N. Hanna & Leigh L. Linden, 2012. "Discrimination in Grading," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 146-68, November.

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