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Gender Discrimination in Job Ads: Theory and Evidence

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  • Peter J. Kuhn
  • Kailing Shen

Abstract

We study firms' advertised gender preferences in a population of ads on a Chinese internet job board, and interpret these patterns using a simple employer search model. The model allows us to distinguish firms' underlying gender preferences from firms' propensities to restrict their search to their preferred gender. The model also predicts that higher job skill requirements should reduce the tendency to gender-target a job ad; this is strongly confirmed in our data, and suggests that rising skill demands may be a potent deterrent to explicit discrimination of the type we document here. We also find that firms' underlying gender preferences are highly job-specific, with many firms requesting men for some jobs and women for others, and with one third of the variation in gender preferences within firm*occupation cells.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17453.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Publication status: published as “Gender Discrimination in Job Ads: Evidence from China” Quarterly Journal of Economics 128(1) (February 2013) (with Kaling Shen).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17453

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  1. Guido Menzio, 2007. "A Theory of Partially Directed Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 748-769, October.
  2. Claudia Goldin, 1990. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1.
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  15. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Jonathan Guryan, 2008. "Prejudice and Wages: An Empirical Assessment of Becker's The Economics of Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 773-809, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Zhou, Xiangyi & Zhang, Jie & Song, Xuetao, 2013. "Gender Discrimination in Hiring: Evidence from 19,130 Resumes in China," MPRA Paper 43543, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Shing-Yi Wang, 2011. "Marriage Networks, Nepotism and Labor Market Outcomes in China," Working Papers id:4287, eSocialSciences.

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