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

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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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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2013/13058.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 13058.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:13058

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Keywords: Correspondence testing; Gender discrimination; racial discrimination ethnic homophily; language skills.;

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  2. Emmanuel Duguet & Loïc Du Parquet & Yannick L'Horty & Pascale Petit, 2012. "First Order Stochastic Dominance and the Measurement of Hiring Discrimination: A ranking extension of correspondence testings with an application to gender and origin," Working Papers halshs-00731005, HAL.
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  16. 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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