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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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  17. 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.
  18. Baert, Stijn & Cockx, Bart & Gheyle, Niels & Vandamme, Cora, 2013. "Do Employers Discriminate Less If Vacancies Are Difficult to Fill? Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7145, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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