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Detecting Discrimination in Audit and Correspondence Studies

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  • David Neumark

Abstract

Audit studies testing for discrimination have been criticized because applicants from different groups may not appear identical to employers. Correspondence studies address this criticism by using fictitious paper applicants whose qualifications can be made identical across groups. However, Heckman and Siegelman (1993) show that group differences in the variance of unobservable determinants of productivity still can generate spurious evidence of discrimination in either direction. This paper shows how to recover an unbiased estimate of discrimination when the correspondence study includes variation in applicant characteristics that affect hiring. The method is applied to actual data and assessed using Monte Carlo methods.

Suggested Citation

  • David Neumark, 2012. "Detecting Discrimination in Audit and Correspondence Studies," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 1128-1157.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:47:y:2012:iv:1:p:1128-1157
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    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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