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Automatic associations and discrimination in hiring: Real world evidence

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  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

Abstract

This is the first study providing empirical support for automatically activated associations inducing discriminatory behavior among recruiters in a real-life hiring situation. Two different field experiments on ethnic discrimination in hiring are combined with a measure of employers' automatic attitudes and performance stereotypes toward Arab-Muslim men relative to Swedish men using the Implicit Association Test. The results show that the probability to invite Arab-Muslim job applicants decreases by five percentage points when the recruiter has a one standard deviation stronger negative implicit association toward Arab-Muslim men. This suggests that automatic processes may exert a significant impact on employers' hiring decisions, offering new insights into labor market discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "Automatic associations and discrimination in hiring: Real world evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 523-534, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:17:y:2010:i:3:p:523-534
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jens Agerström & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2009. "Implicit prejudice and ethnic minorities: Arab-Muslims in Sweden," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(1/2), pages 43-55, March.
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