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Do Anonymous Job Application Procedures Level the Playing Field?

Author

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  • Olof Ã…slund
  • Oskar Nordströum Skans

Abstract

Despite anti-discrimination legislation and the potential for hefty fines, labor market discrimination remains an issue for ethnic minorities and women, particularly in the recruitment and screening process. The apparent failure of legal and voluntary interventions has created a call for anonymous application procedures (AAP), in which key identifying data is hidden from recruiters in the initial recruiting process. Using unusually rich Swedish data on actual applications and recruitments, the authors show that AAP increased the chances of both women and individuals of non-Western origin of advancing to the interview stage. In addition, results show that women experienced an increased probability of being offered a job under AAP. However, applicants belonging to ethnic minorities were equally disadvantaged in terms of job offers under conventional and anonymous hiring procedures, suggesting that racial and ethnic discrimination may be harder to circumvent than gender discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Olof Ã…slund & Oskar Nordströum Skans, 2012. "Do Anonymous Job Application Procedures Level the Playing Field?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(1), pages 82-107, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:65:y:2012:i:1:p:82-107
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Holm, Håkan, 2000. "What’s in a Name? - An ethnical discrimination experiment," Working Papers 2000:3, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 16 Apr 2001.
    3. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "Evidence of ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labor market using experimental data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 716-729, August.
    4. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Magnus Carlsson, 2010. "Experimental Evidence of Discrimination in the Hiring of First- and Second-generation Immigrants," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(3), pages 263-278, September.
    2. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1133-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Rödin, Magnus & Özcan, Gülay, 2011. "Is It How You Look or Speak That Matters? - An Experimental Study Exploring the Mechanisms of Ethnic Discrimination," Research Papers in Economics 2011:12, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    4. Olof Åslund & Lena Hensvik & Oskar Nordström Skans, 2014. "Seeking Similarity: How Immigrants and Natives Manage in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(3), pages 405-441.
    5. Krause-Pilatus, Annabelle & Rinne, Ulf & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2010. "Anonymisierte Bewerbungsverfahren," IZA Research Reports 27, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. von Essen, Emma & Karlsson, Jonas Karlsson, 2013. "A matter of transient anonymity: Discrimination by gender and foreignness in online auctions," Research Papers in Economics 2013:6, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    7. Krause, Annabelle & Rinne, Ulf & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "Anonymous job applications of fresh Ph.D. economists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 441-444.
    8. Vojtech Bartos & Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilova & Filip Matejka, 2013. "Attention Discrimination: Theory and Field Experiments," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp499, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    9. Bøg, Martin & Kranendonk, Erik, 2011. "Labor market discrimination of minorities? yes, but not in job offers," MPRA Paper 33332, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Stefan Eriksson & Per Johansson & Sophie Langenskiöld, 2017. "What is the right profile for getting a job? A stated choice experiment of the recruitment process," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 803-826, September.
    11. Chmura, Thorsten & Goerg, Sebastian J. & Weiss, Pia, 2016. "Natural groups and economic characteristics as driving forces of wage discrimination," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 178-200.
    12. Åslund, Olof & Forslund, Anders & Liljeberg, Linus, 2017. "Labour market entry of non-Labour migrants – Swedish evidence," Working Paper Series 2017:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    13. Rödin, Magnus & Özcan, Gülay, 2011. "Is It How You Look or Speak That Matters? - An Experimental Study Exploring the Mechanisms of Ethnic Discrimination," SULCIS Working Papers 2011:3, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
    14. Ulf Rinne, 2013. "The evaluation of immigration policies," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 28, pages 530-552 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Magnus Rodin & Gulay Ozcan, 2013. "Is It How You Look or Speak That Matters? “An Experimental Study Exploring the Mechanisms of Ethnic Discrimination”," Working Papers 009, Bahcesehir University, Betam.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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