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An Examination of Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Estimates from the Field

  • John M. Nunley
  • Adam Pugh
  • Nicholas Romero
  • Richard Alan Seals, Jr.

We present experimental evidence from a correspondence test of racial discrimination in the labor market for recent college graduates. Online job advertisements were answered with over 9,000 résumé s from fictitious, recently-graduated job seekers. We find strong evidence of differential treatment by race: black applicants receive approximately 14 percent fewer interview requests than their otherwise identical white counterparts. The racial gap in employment opportunities increases as perceived productivity characteristics are added, which is difficult to reconcile with models of statistical discrimination. We investigate different channels through which the observed racial differences might occur and conclude that taste-based discrimination at the race-skill level is the most likely explanation. The racial differences identified operate primarily through customer-level discrimination.

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File URL: http://cla.auburn.edu/econwp/Archives/2014/2014-06.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Auburn University in its series Auburn Economics Working Paper Series with number auwp2014-06.

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Date of creation: Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:abn:wpaper:auwp2014-06
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  8. Joanna Lahey, 2006. "Age, Women, and Hiring: An Experimental Study," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-23, Center for Retirement Research, revised Nov 2006.
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  17. Ahmed, Ali M. & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2008. "Discrimination in the rental housing market: A field experiment on the Internet," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 362-372, September.
  18. Abel, Jaison R. & Deitz, Richard & Su, Yaquin, 2014. "Are recent college graduates finding good jobs?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 20.
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  20. Richard Startz & Lundberg, . "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 19-81, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  21. Kenneth A. Couch & Robert Fairlie, 2005. "Last Hired, First Fired? Black-White Unemployment and the Business Cycle," Working papers 2005-50, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
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