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. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
    3. Heather Antecol & Peter Kuhn & Stephen J. Trejo, 2006. "Assimilation via Prices or Quantities?: Sources of Immigrant Earnings Growth in Australia, Canada, and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Joseph Schaafsma & Arthur Sweetman, 2001. "Immigrant earnings: age at immigration matters," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 34(4), pages 1066-1099, November.
    10. 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: Immigration, pages 349-401, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
    11. Lahey, Joanna N. & Beasley, Ryan A., 2009. "Computerizing audit studies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 508-514, June.
    12. 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, May.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. George J. Borjas, 1993. "Immigration Policy, National Origin, and Immigrant Skills: A Comparison of Canada and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 21-44, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. 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.
    17. Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "A Memory-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 735-774.
    18. Card, David & Freeman, Richard B. (ed.), 1993. "Small Differences That Matter," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226092836, Febrero.
    19. Caroline, Bennett-AbuAyyash & Dietz, Joerg & Esses, Victoria M. & Joshi, Chetan, 2009. "The Evaluation of Immigrants' Credentials: The Roles of Accreditation, Immigrant Race, and Evaluator Biases," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-27, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 15 Mar 2009.
    20. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "Automatic associations and discrimination in hiring: Real world evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 523-534, June.
    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. Philip Oreopoulos, 2009. "Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Six Thousand Resumes," NBER Working Papers 15036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alexander Murray & Andrew Sharpe, 2011. "Human Capital and Productivity in British Columbia," CSLS Research Reports 2011-10, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    3. 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.
    4. 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).
    5. David A. Green & Christopher Worswick, 2017. "Canadian economics research on immigration through the lens of theories of justice," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1262-1303, December.
    6. Brian Duncan & Stephen Trejo, 2009. "Immigration and the U.S. Labor Market," RF Berlin - CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0908, Rockwool Foundation Berlin (RF Berlin) - Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM).
    7. 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).
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Eva O. Arceo-Gomez & Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez, 2014. "Race and Marriage in the Labor Market: A Discrimination Correspondence Study in a Developing Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 376-380, May.
    11. 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.
    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. McBride, Stephan & Sweetman, Arthur, 2004. "Postsecondary Field of Study and the Canadian Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants and Non-immigrants," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004233e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    14. Dequiedt, Vianney & Zenou, Yves, 2013. "International migration, imperfect information, and brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 62-78.
    15. Andrew Clarke & Ana Ferrer & Mikal Skuterud, 2019. "A Comparative Analysis of the Labor Market Performance of University-Educated Immigrants in Australia, Canada, and the United States: Does Policy Matter?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 443-490.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Garnett Picot & Patrizio Piraino, 2013. "Immigrant earnings growth: selection bias or real progress?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1510-1536, November.
    20. 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.

    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.

    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. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.