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Language Skills and Homophilous Hiring Discrimination: Evidence from Gender- and Racially-Differentiated Applications

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  • Edo, Anthony
  • Jacquemet, Nicolas
  • Yannelis, Constantine

Abstract

This paper investigates the importance of ethnic homophily in the hiring discrimination process, and provides a novel test for statistical discrimination. Our evidence comes from a correspondence test performed in France, in which we use three different kinds of ethnic identification: French sounding names, North African sounding names, and “foreign” sounding names with no clear ethnic association. Within both male and female groups, we show that all non-French applicants are equally discriminated against when compared to French applicants. This indicates that racial discrimination in employment is directed against members of non-majority ethnic groups, and highlights the importance of favoritism for in-group members. Moreover we find direct evidence of homophily: recruiters with European names are more likely to call back French named applicants and female recruiters are more likely to call back women. The paper also directly tests for statistical discrimination by adding a signal related to language skill ability in all resumes sent to half the job offers. Although the signal inclusion significantly impacts the discrimination experienced by non-French females, it is much weaker for male minorities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPREMAP in its series CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) with number 1313.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1313

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Keywords: correspondence testing; gender discrimination; racial discrimination; ethnic homophily; language skills;

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  1. Mahmood Arai & Moa B.M. Bursell & Lena Nekby, 2011. "The Reverse Gender Gap in Ethnic Discrimination: Employer Priors against Men and Women with Arabic Names," DULBEA Working Papers 11-09, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  21. Holzer, Harry J & Raphael, Steven & Stoll, Michael A, 2006. "Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 451-80, October.
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