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Immigrant volunteering: A way out of labour market discrimination?

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  • Baert, Stijn
  • Vujić, Sunčica

Abstract

Many governments encourage migrants to participate in volunteer activities as a stepping stone to labour market integration. In the present study, we investigate whether this prosocial engagement lowers the hiring discrimination against them. To this end, we use unique data from a field experiment in which fictitious job applications are sent in response to real vacancies in Belgium. Ethnic origin and volunteer activities are randomly assigned to these applications. While non-volunteering native candidates receive more than twice as many job interview invitations as non-volunteering migrants, no unequal treatment is found between natives and migrants when they reveal volunteer activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Baert, Stijn & Vujić, Sunčica, 2016. "Immigrant volunteering: A way out of labour market discrimination?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 95-98.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:146:y:2016:i:c:p:95-98
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2016.07.035
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    1. Alberto Bisin & Eleonora Patacchini & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2011. "Ethnic identity and labour market outcomes of immigrants in Europe [Assessing the oppositional culture explanation for racial/ethnic differences in school performance]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 26(65), pages 57-92.
    2. Claire Adida & David Laitin & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2014. "Muslims in France: identifying a discriminatory equilibrium," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 1039-1086, October.
    3. Stijn Baert & Bart Cockx & Niels Gheyle & Cora Vandamme, 2015. "Is There Less Discrimination in Occupations Where Recruitment Is Difficult?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(3), pages 467-500, May.
    4. Stefan Eriksson & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Do Employers Use Unemployment as a Sorting Criterion When Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 1014-1039, March.
    5. Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2008. "Measuring Ethnic Identity and its Impact on Economic Behavior," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 424-433, 04-05.
    6. Baert, Stijn & De Pauw, Ann-Sophie, 2014. "Is ethnic discrimination due to distaste or statistics?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 270-273.
    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. Sharma, Rajiv & Mitra, Arnab & Stano, Miron, 2015. "Insurance, race/ethnicity, and sex in the search for a new physician," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 150-153.
    9. Baert, Stijn & Vujic, Suncica, 2016. "Does It Pay to Care? Prosocial Engagement and Employment Opportunities," IZA Discussion Papers 9649, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lens Dries & Marx Ive & Vujić Sunčica, 2019. "Double Jeopardy: How Refugees Fare in One European Labor Market," IZA Journal of Development and Migration, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 10(1), pages 1-29, June.
    2. Jens Detollenaere & Sara Willems & Stijn Baert, 2017. "Volunteering, income and health," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(3), pages 1-11, March.
    3. Jeworrek, Sabrina & Leisen, Bernd Josef & Mertins, Vanessa, 2020. "Gift-exchange in society and the social integration of refugees: Evidence from a field, a laboratory, and a survey experiment," IWH Discussion Papers 17/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    4. Baert, Stijn & Albanese, Andrea & du Gardein, Sofie & Ovaere, Jolien & Stappers, Jarno, 2017. "Does work experience mitigate discrimination?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 35-38.
    5. Gaddis, S. Michael, 2018. "An Introduction to Audit Studies in the Social Sciences," SocArXiv e5hfc, Center for Open Science.
    6. 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).
    7. Bigoni, Maria & Ploner, Matteo & Vu, Thi-Thanh-Tam, 2021. "The Right Person for the Right Job: Workers' Prosociality as a Screening Device," IZA Discussion Papers 14779, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Alfonso-Costillo, Antonio & Morales-Sánchez, Rafael & López-Pintado, Dunia, 2021. "Does volunteering increase employment opportunities? An experimental approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 203(C).
    9. Heinz, Matthias & Schumacher, Heiner, 2017. "Signaling cooperation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 199-216.
    10. Ali M. Ahmed & Elisabeth Lång, 2017. "The employability of ex-offenders: a field experiment in the Swedish labor market," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 6(1), pages 1-23, December.
    11. Céline Piton & François Rycx, 2021. "A Broken Social Elevator? Employment Outcomes of First- and Second-Generation Immigrants in Belgium," De Economist, Springer, vol. 169(3), pages 319-365, August.
    12. Asali, Muhammad & Pignatti, Norberto & Skhirtladze, Sophiko, 2018. "Employment discrimination in a former Soviet Union Republic: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 1294-1309.
    13. Eva Van Belle & Ralf Caers & Marijke De Couck & Valentina Di Stasio & Stijn Baert, 2019. "The Signal of Applying for a Job Under a Vacancy Referral Scheme," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 251-274, April.
    14. Fossati, Flavia & Liechti, Fabienne & Auer, Daniel, 2020. "Can signaling assimilation mitigate hiring discrimination? Evidence from a survey experiment," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    15. Kåre Vernby & Rafaela Dancygier, 2019. "Can immigrants counteract employer discrimination? A factorial field experiment reveals the immutability of ethnic hierarchies," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(7), pages 1-19, July.
    16. Jens Detollenaere & Stijn Baert & Sara Willems, 2018. "Association between cultural distance and migrant self-rated health," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 19(2), pages 257-266, March.
    17. Jeworrek, Sabrina & Leisen, Bernd Josef & Mertins, Vanessa, 2021. "Gift-exchange in society and the social integration of refugees–Evidence from a survey, a laboratory, and a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 482-499.
    18. Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Hiring Discrimination: An Overview of (Almost) All Correspondence Experiments Since 2005," IZA Discussion Papers 10738, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Stijn Baert & Sunčica Vujić, 2018. "Does it pay to care? Volunteering and employment opportunities," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 819-836, July.
    20. Céline Piton & François Rycx, 2020. "The Heterogeneous Employment Outcomes of First- and Second-generation Immigrants in Belgium," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigrants; Volunteering; Discrimination; Hiring; Integration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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