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Indiscriminate discrimination: A correspondence test for ethnic homophily in the Chicago labor market


  • Jacquemet, Nicolas
  • Yannelis, Constantine


Numerous field experiments have demonstrated the existence of discrimination in labor markets against specific minority groups. This paper uses a correspondence test to determine whether this discrimination is due to prejudice against specific groups, or a general preference for the majority group. Three groups of identical fabricated resumes are sent to help-wanted advertisements in Chicago newspapers: one with Anglo-Saxon names, one with African-American names, and one with fictitious foreign names whose ethnic origin is unidentifiable to most Americans. Resumes with Anglo-Saxon names generate nearly one third more call-backs than identical resumes with non Anglo-Saxon ones, either African-American or Foreign. We take this as evidence that discriminatory behavior is part of a larger pattern of unequal treatment of any member of non-majority groups, ethnic homophily.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:6:p:824-832
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2012.08.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Salamanca Nicolas & Feld Jan, 2017. "A Short Note on Discrimination and Favoritism in the Labor Market," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-10, January.
    2. Anthony Edo & Nicolas Jacquemet & Constantine Yannelis, 2013. "Language Skills and Homophilous Hiring Discrimination: Evidence from Gender- and Racially-Differentiated Applications," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13058, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00935241 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2015. "Discrimination against Migrants in Austria: An Experimental Study," IZA Discussion Papers 9354, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2017:n:413 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Zschirnt, Eva & Ruedin, Didier, 2016. "Ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions: A meta-analysis of correspondence tests 1990–2015," EconStor Preprints 142176, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    9. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Barnard, Helena & Cowan, Robin A. & Kirman, Alan P. & Müller, Moritz, 2016. "Including excluded groups: The slow racial transformation of the South African university system," Working Paper Series in Economics 89, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
    11. Leda M. Pérez & Pedro Llanos Paredes, 2015. "¿Al fondo del escalafón?: un estado de la cuestión sobre el trabajo doméstico remunerado en el Perú," Working Papers 15-01, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    12. 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.
    13. Steinar Holden & Åsa Rosén, 2014. "Discrimination And Employment Protection," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(6), pages 1676-1699, December.
    14. Waddell, Glen R. & Lee, Logan M., 2014. "The Timing of Preference and Prejudice in Sequential Hiring Games," IZA Discussion Papers 8445, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. W. Robert Reed, 2017. "Replication in labor economics," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 413-413, December.
    16. 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Claire L. Adida & David D. Laitin & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2015. "Religious Homophily In A Secular Country: Evidence From A Voting Game In France," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(2), pages 1187-1206, April.
    18. Manant, Matthieu & Pajak, Serge & Soulié, Nicolas, 2014. "Do recruiters 'like' it? Online social networks and privacy in hiring: a pseudo-randomized experiment," MPRA Paper 56845, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Francisco Galarza & Gustavo Yamada & Carlos Zelada, 2015. "Cuesta arriba para los afroperuanos: evidencia de la discriminación en el acceso al mercado laboral de Lima Metropolitana," Working Papers 15-03, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    20. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00935241 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Hiring Discrimination: An Overview of (Almost) All Correspondence Experiments Since 2005," IZA Discussion Papers 10738, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Deuchert, Eva & Kauer, Lukas & Liebert, Helge & Wuppermann, Carl, 2013. "No disabled student left behind? - Evidence from a social field experiment," Economics Working Paper Series 1336, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

    More about this item


    Correspondence testing; Discrimination; Ethnic homophily;

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search


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