Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Six Thousand Resumes
AbstractThousands of resumes were sent in response to online job postings across multiple occupations in Toronto to investigate why Canadian immigrants, allowed in based on skill, struggle in the labor market. Resumes were constructed to plausibly represent recent immigrants under the point system from the three largest countries of origin (China, India, and Pakistan) and Britain, as well as non-immigrants with and without ethnic-sounding names. In addition to names, I randomized where applicants received their undergraduate degree, whether their job experience was gained in Toronto or Mumbai (or another foreign city), whether they listed being fluent in multiple languages (including French). The study produced four main findings: 1) Interview request rates for English-named applicants with Canadian education and experience were more than three times higher compared to resumes with Chinese, Indian, or Pakistani names with foreign education and experience (5 percent versus 16 percent), but were no different compared to foreign applicants from Britain. 2) Employers valued experience acquired in Canada much more than if acquired in a foreign country. Changing foreign resumes to include only experience from Canada raised callback rates to 11 percent. 3) Among resumes listing 4 to 6 years of Canadian experience, whether an applicant’s degree was from Canada or not, or whether the applicant obtained additional Canadian education or not had no impact on the chances for an interview request. 4) Canadian applicants that differed only by name had substantially different callback rates: Those with English-sounding names received interview requests 40 percent more often than applicants with Chinese, Indian, or Pakistani names (16 percent versus 11 percent). Overall, the results suggest considerable employer discrimination against applicants with ethnic names or with experience from foreign firms.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15036.
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
- K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-06-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-CNA-2009-06-17 (China)
- NEP-CWA-2009-06-17 (Central & Western Asia)
- NEP-EXP-2009-06-17 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2009-06-17 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2009-06-17 (Economics of Human Migration)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- repec:hal:journl:halshs-00587674 is not listed on IDEAS
- 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.
- Mahmood Arai & Moa Bursell & Lena Nekby, 2011. "The Reverse Gender Gap in Ethnic Discrimination: Employer Priors against Men and Women with Arabic Names," Working Papers CEB 11-027, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.