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Unintended Effects of Anonymous Résumés

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  • Luc Behaghel
  • Bruno Crépon
  • Thomas Le Barbanchon

Abstract

We evaluate an experimental program in which the French public employment service anonymized résumés for firms that were hiring. Firms were free to participate or not; participating firms were then randomly assigned to receive either anonymous résumés or name-bearing ones. We find that participating firms become less likely to interview and hire minority candidates when receiving anonymous résumés. We show how these unexpected results can be explained by the self-selection of firms into the program and by the fact that anonymization prevents the attenuation of negative signals when the candidate belongs to a minority. (JEL J15, J68, J71)

Suggested Citation

  • Luc Behaghel & Bruno Crépon & Thomas Le Barbanchon, 2015. "Unintended Effects of Anonymous Résumés," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 1-27, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:7:y:2015:i:3:p:1-27
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20140185
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    Cited by:

    1. Dylan Glover & Amanda Pallais & William Pariente, 2017. "Discrimination as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from French Grocery Stores," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1219-1260.
    2. Souleymane Mbaye, 2019. "Trois évaluations d’actions de lutte contre les discriminations," Erudite Ph.D Dissertations, Erudite, number ph19-01 edited by Pascale Petit, November.
    3. Shuai Chen & Jan van Ours, 2021. "Mental Health Effects of Same-Sex Marriage Legalization," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 21-003/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Margaret Maurer-Fazio & Lei Lei, 2015. "“As rare as a panda”: How facial attractiveness, gender, and occupation affect interview callbacks at Chinese firms," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 68-85, April.
    5. Berson, Clémence & Laouénan, Morgane & Valat, Emmanuel, 2020. "Outsourcing recruitment as a solution to prevent discrimination: A correspondence study," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    6. Mongoljin Batsaikhan & Mette Gørtz & John Kennes & Ran Sun Lyng & Daniel Monte & Norovsambuu Tumennasan, 2019. "Daycare Choice and Ethnic Diversity: Evidence from a Randomized Survey," Economics Working Papers 2019-02, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    7. Sander WAGNER & Ivaylo D. PETEV, 2019. "The Economic Penalty of Terrorism: Increase in Discrimination Against Arabs and Muslims after Paris Attacks," Working Papers 2019-22, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    8. Eszter Czibor & David Jimenez‐Gomez & John A. List, 2019. "The Dozen Things Experimental Economists Should Do (More of)," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(2), pages 371-432, October.
    9. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Azmat, Ghazala & Boring, Anne, 2020. "Gender Diversity in Firms," IZA Policy Papers 168, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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