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Hiring discrimination : a field experiment in the French financial sector

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  • Pascale Petit

    ()
    (EUREQua)

Abstract

Using correspondence testing, we investigate whether gender access gap in job interviews is due to different effects of present or future family responsibilities on expected productivity of male and female job applicants or if it is due to a taste for discrimination. We have sent job applications of three pairs of candidates to the same job advertisements in the French financial sector. Using three pairs of applicants, we compare the effect on the gender access gap to job interviews of a high probability of maternity/paternity (1) ; high family responsibilities (2) ; neither risk of maternity or family responsibility (3). Within each pair, the applicants' characteristics are similar except for their gender. We find significant discrimination against women with a high probability of maternity for highly qualified administrative jobs. In the other cases, unequal treatment between genders is not significant. So, controlling for female probability of maternity, we find no significant unequal treatment between genders. We conclude that female employment suffers more from their probability of maternity (and their anticipated career interruptions) than family responsibilities alone. So, statistical discrimination due to female probability of maternity exists on the French labour market. An appropriate economic policy may correct it by reducing firms' cost due to maternity leave.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1) in its series Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques with number v04086.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:wpsorb:v04086

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Keywords: Field experiment; hiring discrimination.;

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  1. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  2. Sylvie Le Minez & Sébastien Roux, 2002. "Les différences de carrières salariales à partir du premier emploi," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 351(1), pages 31-63.
  3. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  5. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2003. "Sexual orientation discrimination in hiring," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 629-642, December.
  6. Francois, Patrick, 1998. "Gender discrimination without gender difference: theory and policy responses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-32, April.
  7. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  8. Neumark, David, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-41, August.
  9. 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.
  10. Dominique Meurs & Sophie Ponthieux, 2000. "Une mesure de la discrimination dans l'écart de salaire entre hommes et femmes," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 337(1), pages 135-158.
  11. Riach, Peter A & Rich, Judith, 1991. "Testing for Racial Discrimination in the Labour Market," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 239-56, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Stijn Baert & Bart Cockx & Niels Gheyle & Cora Vandamme, 2013. "Do Employers Discriminate Less if Vacancies are Difficult to Fill? Evidence from a Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 4093, CESifo Group Munich.

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