IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejpol/v3y2011i4p148-71.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Thirteen Thousand Resumes

Author

Listed:
  • Philip Oreopoulos

Abstract

Thousands of randomly manipulated resumes were sent in response to online job postings in Toronto to investigate why immigrants, allowed in based on skill, struggle in the labor market. The study finds substantial discrimination across a variety of occupations towards applicants with foreign experience or those with Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, and Greek names compared with English names. Listing language fluency, multinational firm experience, education from highly selective schools, or active extracurricular activities had no diminishing effect. Recruiters justify this behavior based on language skill concerns but fail to fully account for offsetting features when listed. (JEL J15, J24, J61)

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Oreopoulos, 2011. "Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Thirteen Thousand Resumes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 148-171, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:148-71
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.4.148
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/pol.3.4.148
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/pol/data/2009-0150_data.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 1993. "Introduction to "Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States"," NBER Chapters, in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 1-20, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Fryer Roland & Jackson Matthew O., 2008. "A Categorical Model of Cognition and Biased Decision Making," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-44, February.
    3. Morissette, Rene & Frenette, Marc, 2003. "Will They Ever Converge? Earnings of Immigrants and Canadian-born Workers over the Last Two Decades," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003215e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    4. Jacquemet, Nicolas & Yannelis, Constantine, 2012. "Indiscriminate discrimination: A correspondence test for ethnic homophily in the Chicago labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 824-832.
    5. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 1993. "Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number card93-1.
    6. 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.
    7. Ana Ferrer & W. Craig Riddell, 2008. "Education, credentials, and immigrant earnings," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 186-216, February.
    8. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Mikal Skuterud, 2005. "Explaining the deteriorating entry earnings of Canada's immigrant cohorts, 1966 – 2000," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 38(2), pages 641-672, May.
    9. Joseph Schaafsma & Arthur Sweetman, 2001. "Immigrant earnings: age at immigration matters," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1066-1099, November.
    10. Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 820-867, October.
    11. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "Automatic associations and discrimination in hiring: Real world evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 523-534, June.
    12. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
    13. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    14. Charles M. Beach & Alan G. Green & Christopher Worswick, 2007. "Impacts of the Point System and Immigration Policy Levers on Skill Characteristics of Canadian Immigrants," Research in Labor Economics, in: Barry R. Chiswick (ed.), Immigration, volume 27, pages 349-401, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    15. Lahey, Joanna N. & Beasley, Ryan A., 2009. "Computerizing audit studies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 508-514, June.
    16. Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "A Memory-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 735-774.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Button, Patrick & Walker, Brigham, 2020. "Employment discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    2. Susumu Imai & Derek Stacey & Casey Warman, 2019. "From engineer to taxi driver? Language proficiency and the occupational skills of immigrants," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 52(3), pages 914-953, August.
    3. Alexander Murray & Andrew Sharpe, 2011. "Human Capital and Productivity in British Columbia," CSLS Research Reports 2011-10, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    4. Rich, Judy, 2014. "What Do Field Experiments of Discrimination in Markets Tell Us? A Meta Analysis of Studies Conducted since 2000," IZA Discussion Papers 8584, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Anthony Edo & Nicolas Jacquemet & Constantine Yannelis, 2019. "Language skills and homophilous hiring discrimination: Evidence from gender and racially differentiated applications," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 349-376, March.
    6. Morten Størling Hedegaard & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2018. "The Price of Prejudice," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 40-63, January.
    7. Yannick L'Horty & Mathieu Bunel & Pascale Petit, 2019. "Testing for redlining in the labour market," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 153-173, April.
    8. Matthieu Manant & Serge Pajak & Nicolas Soulié, 2019. "Can social media lead to labor market discrimination? Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 225-246, April.
    9. Bertrand, Marianne & Duflo, Esther, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," CEPR Discussion Papers 11123, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Daviti Jibuti, 2018. "Discrimination against Workers with Visible Tattoos: Experimental Evidence from Germany," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp628, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    11. Carlsson, Magnus & Fumarco, Luca & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2013. "Artifactual Evidence of Discrimination in Correspondence Studies? A Replication of the Neumark Method," IZA Discussion Papers 7619, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Barron, Kai & Ditlmann, Ruth & Gehrig, Stefan & Schweighofer-Kodritsch, Sebastian, 2020. "Explicit and implicit belief-based gender discrimination: A hiring experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2020-306, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    13. Mikal Skuterud & Mingcui Su, 2012. "The influence of measurement error and unobserved heterogeneity in estimating immigrant returns to foreign and host-country sources of human capital," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 1109-1141, December.
    14. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2015. "Discrimination against Migrants in Austria: An Experimental Study," IZA Discussion Papers 9354, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Picot, Garnett & Sweetman, Arthur, 2005. "The Deteriorating Economic Welfare of Immigrants and Possible Causes: Update 2005," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005262e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    16. Veit, Susanne & Arnu, Hannah & Stasio, Valentina Di & Yemane, Ruta & Coenders, Marcel, 2021. "The “Big Two” in Hiring Discrimination: Evidence From a Cross-National Field Experiment," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    17. Zschirnt, Eva & Ruedin, Didier, 2016. "Ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions: A meta-analysis of correspondence tests 1990–2015," EconStor Preprints 142176, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    18. Hou, Feng & Picot, Garnett & Coulombe, Simon, 2007. "Chronic Low Income and Low-income Dynamics Among Recent Immigrants," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007294e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    19. Chowdhury, Shyamal & Ooi, Evarn & Slonim, Robert, 2017. "Racial discrimination and white first name adoption: a field experiment in the Australian labour market," Working Papers 2017-15, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    20. Anthony Edo & Nicolas Jacquemet, 2013. "Discrimination à l'embauche selon l'origine et le genre : défiance indifférenciée ou ciblée sur certains groupes ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 464(1), pages 155-172.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Thirteen Thousand Resumes (American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2011) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:148-71. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.