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You Are Not Worth the Risk: Lawful Discrimination in Hiring

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  • Vanessa Scholes

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    (Open Polytechnic / Kuratini Tuwhery)

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    Abstract

    Increasing empirical research on productivity supports the use of statistical or ‘rational’ discrimination in hiring. The practice is legal for features of job applicants not covered by human rights discrimination laws, such as being a smoker, residing in a particular neighbourhood or being a particular height. The practice appears largely morally innocuous under existing philosophical accounts of wrongful discrimination. This paper argues that lawful statistical discrimination treats job applicants in a way that may be considered degrading, and is likely to constrain people’s freedoms in relation to employment, thus giving us reason for moral concern

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Frankfurt School Verlag, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in its journal Rationality, Markets and Morals.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 82 (February)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:rmm:journl:v:5:y:2014:i:82

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    Related research

    Keywords: discrimination; ethics; employment; hiring; statistical discrimination;

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    1. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
    2. Andreas Schick & Richard H. Steckel, 2010. "Height as a Proxy for Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Ability," NBER Working Papers 16570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Michael Ewens & Bryan Tomlin & Liang Choon Wang, 2014. "Statistical Discrimination or Prejudice? A Large Sample Field Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 119-134, March.
    4. Sattinger, Michael, 1998. "Statistical Discrimination with Employment Criteria," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 205-37, February.
    5. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    6. Stephanie Decker, 2010. "Postcolonial Transitions in Africa: Decolonization in West Africa and Present Day South Africa," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(s1), pages 791-813, 07.
    7. Martin Lecker, 2009. "The Smoking Penalty: Distributive Justice or Smokism?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 84(1), pages 47-64, January.
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