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Do Anonymous Job Application Procedures Level the Playing Field?

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  • Olof Aslund
  • Oskar N. Skans

Abstract

Despite anti-discrimination legislation and the potential for hefty fines, labor market discrimination remains an issue for ethnic minorities and women, particularly in the recruitment and screening process. The apparent failure of legal and voluntary interventions has created a call for anonymous application procedures (AAP), in which key identifying data is hidden from recruiters in the initial recruiting process. Using unusually rich Swedish data on actual applications and recruitments, the authors show that AAP increased the chances of both women and individuals of non-Western origin of advancing to the interview stage. In addition, results show that women experienced an increased probability of being offered a job under AAP. However, applicants belonging to ethnic minorities were equally disadvantaged in terms of job offers under conventional and anonymous hiring procedures, suggesting that racial and ethnic discrimination may be harder to circumvent than gender discrimination.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 65 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 82-107

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:65:y:2012:i:1:p:82-107

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Holm, Håkan, 2000. "What’s in a Name? - An ethnical discrimination experiment," Working Papers 2000:3, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 16 Apr 2001.
  3. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Bøg, Martin & Kranendonk, Erik, 2011. "Labor market discrimination of minorities? yes, but not in job offers," MPRA Paper 33332, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Magnus Rodin & Gulay Ozcan, 2013. "Is It How You Look or Speak That Matters? “An Experimental Study Exploring the Mechanisms of Ethnic Discrimination”," Working Papers 009, Bahcesehir University, Betam.
  3. Krause, Annabelle & Rinne, Ulf & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "Anonymous job applications of fresh Ph.D. economists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 441-444.
  4. Eriksson, Stefan & Johansson, Per & Langenskiöld, Sophie, 2012. "What is the right profile for getting a job? A stated choice experiment of the recruitment process," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2012:16, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Olof Aslund & Lena Hensvik & Oskar Nordstrom Skans, 2009. "Seeking similarity: How immigrants and natives manage at the labor market," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0932, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  6. Krause, Annabelle & Rinne, Ulf & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2010. "Report No. 27: Anonymisierte Bewerbungsverfahren," IZA Research Reports 27, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. von Essen, Emma & Karlsson, Jonas Karlsson, 2013. "A matter of transient anonymity: Discrimination by gender and foreignness in online auctions," Research Papers in Economics 2013:6, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  8. Rödin, Magnus & Özcan, Gülay, 2011. "Is It How You Look or Speak That Matters? - An Experimental Study Exploring the Mechanisms of Ethnic Discrimination," SULCIS Working Papers 2011:3, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  9. Rödin, Magnus & Özcan, Gülay, 2011. "Is It How You Look or Speak That Matters? - An Experimental Study Exploring the Mechanisms of Ethnic Discrimination," Research Papers in Economics 2011:12, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  10. Vojtech Bartos & Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilova & Filip Matejka, 2013. "Attention Discrimination: Theory and Field Experiments," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp499, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.

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