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Implicit Discrimination in Hiring: Real World Evidence

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  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

    ()
    (Linnaeus University)

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    Abstract

    This is the first study providing evidence of a new form of discrimination, implicit discrimination, acting in real economic life. In a two-stage field experiment we first measure the difference in callbacks for interview for applicants with Arab/Muslim sounding names compared to applicants with Swedish sounding names using the correspondence testing methodology. In the second stage of the experiment we measure, for a sample of the recruiters involved, their explicit and implicit attitudes/performance stereotypes by the means of explicit questions and the implicit association test (IAT). We find (i) only weak correlations between explicit attitudes/performance stereotypes and implicit performance stereotypes but (ii) a strong and statistically significant negative correlation between the implicit performance stereotypes and the callback rate for an interview for applicants with Arab/Muslim sounding names, but not for applicants with Swedish sounding names. These results indicate that implicit discrimination acts differently compared to explicit discrimination and that it is an important determinant of the hiring process.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2764.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2007
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published as "Automatic associations and discrimination in hiring: Real world evidence" in: Labour Economics, 2010, 17 (3), 523-534
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2764

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    Related research

    Keywords: implicit attitudes and stereotypes; exit from unemployment; discrimination; situation testing;

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    References

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Dan-Olof Rooth & Jan Ekberg, 2003. "Unemployment and earnings for second generation immigrants in Sweden. Ethnic background and parent composition," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 787-814, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
    7. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Petia Topalova & Esther Duflo & Rohini Pande & Lori Beaman & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, 2008. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," Working Papers id:1617, eSocialSciences.
    2. Booth, Alison L. & Leigh, Andrew & Varganova, Elena, 2010. "Does Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4947, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Edoardo Gallo & Thomas Grund & J. James Reade, 2013. "Punishing the Foreigner: Implicit Discrimination in the Premier League Based on Oppositional Identity," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(1), pages 136-156, 02.
    4. Agerström, Jens & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2008. "Implicit Prejudice and Ethnic Minorities: Arab-Muslims in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 3873, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Leping, Kristian-Olari & Toomet, Ott, 2008. "Emerging ethnic wage gap: Estonia during political and economic transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 599-619, December.

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