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Discrimination in Recruitment: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • McGinnity, Frances
  • Nelson, Jacqueline
  • Lunn, Pete
  • Quinn, Emma

Abstract

This study breaks new ground in Irish research by providing direct evidence of discrimination using a field experiment that investigates discrimination in recruitment on the basis of ethnic and national origin. Two individuals, identical on all relevant characteristics other than the potential basis of discrimination, apply for the same jobs. Responses are carefully recorded, and discrimination or the lack thereof is then measured as the extent to which one applicant is invited to interview relative to the other applicant. In this experiment we test discrimination against 3 minority groups: Africans, Asians and Europeans (Germans), using distinctive names to signal ethnic or national origin, as is typical in experiments of this nature. It was found that candidates with Irish names were over twice as likely to be invited to interview for advertised jobs as candidates with identifiably non-Irish names, even though both submitted equivalent CVs. We did not find significant differences in the degree of discrimination faced by candidates with Asian, African or German names. Strong discrimination was found against minority candidates across the occupations tested (lower administration, lower accountancy and retail sales).

Suggested Citation

  • McGinnity, Frances & Nelson, Jacqueline & Lunn, Pete & Quinn, Emma, 2009. "Discrimination in Recruitment: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT137.
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:resser:bkmnext137
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    Cited by:

    1. McGinnity F & Russell H, 2011. "Workplace Equality in the Recession? The Incidence and Impact of Equality Policies and Flexible Working," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT200.
    2. Kingston, Gillian & O'Connell, Philip J. & Kelly, Elish, 2013. "Ethnicity and Nationality in the Irish Labour Market: Evidence from the QNHS Equality Module," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT230.
    3. S. Baert & B. Cockx & N. Gheyle & C. Vandamme, 2013. "Do Employers Discriminate Less if Vacancies Are Difficult to Fill? Evidence From a Field Experiment," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 13/830, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    4. Barrett, Alan & McGinnitty, Frances & Quinn, Emma (ed.), 2017. "Monitoring Report on Integration 2016," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT330.
    5. Grotti, Raffaele & Russell, Helen & Fahey, Éammon & Maître, Bertrand, 2018. "Discrimination and inequality in housing in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT361.
    6. Watson, Dorothy & Lunn, Pete & Quinn, Emma & Russell, Helen, 2012. "Multiple Disadvantage in Ireland: An Equality Analysis of Census 2006," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT213.
    7. McGinnity, Frances & Quinn, Emma & O'Connell, Philip J. & Donnelly, Nora, 2011. "Annual Monitoring Report on Integration 2010," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT183.
    8. Tunstall, Rebecca & Green, Anne & Lupton, Ruth & Watmough, Simon & Bates, Katie, 2014. "Does poor neighbourhood reputation create a neighbourhood effect on employment? The results of a field experiment in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55913, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Nekeisha Spencer & Mikhail-Ann Urquhart & Patrice Whitely, 2020. "Class Discrimination? Evidence from Jamaica: A Racially Homogeneous Labor Market," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 52(1), pages 77-95, March.
    10. Krause-Pilatus, Annabelle & Rinne, Ulf & Zimmermann, Klaus F. & Böschen, Ines & Alt, Ramona, 2012. "Pilotprojekt ''Anonymisierte Bewerbungsverfahren'' - Abschlussbericht," IZA Research Reports 44, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Philip J. O’Connell & Corona Joyce, 2013. "International Migration in Ireland, 2012," Working Papers 201304, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

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