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Language Skills and Homophilous Hiring Discrimination: Evidence from Gender- and Racially-Differentiated Applications

  • Edo, Anthony
  • Jacquemet, Nicolas
  • Yannelis, Constantine

This paper investigates the importance of ethnic homophily in the hiring discrimination process, and provides a novel test for statistical discrimination. Our evidence comes from a correspondence test performed in France, in which we use three different kinds of ethnic identification: French sounding names, North African sounding names, and “foreign” sounding names with no clear ethnic association. Within both male and female groups, we show that all non-French applicants are equally discriminated against when compared to French applicants. This indicates that racial discrimination in employment is directed against members of non-majority ethnic groups, and highlights the importance of favoritism for in-group members. Moreover we find direct evidence of homophily: recruiters with European names are more likely to call back French named applicants and female recruiters are more likely to call back women. The paper also directly tests for statistical discrimination by adding a signal related to language skill ability in all resumes sent to half the job offers. Although the signal inclusion significantly impacts the discrimination experienced by non-French females, it is much weaker for male minorities.

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Paper provided by CEPREMAP in its series CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) with number 1313.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1313
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  1. Emmanuel DUGUET & Noam LEANDRI & Yannick L'HORTY & Pascale PETIT, 2010. "Are Young French Jobseekers of Ethnic Immigrant Origin Discriminated Against? A Controlled Experiment in the Paris Area," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 99-100, pages 187-215.
  2. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1056-1093, December.
  3. Alison Booth & Andrew Leigh, 2010. "Do employers discriminate by gender? A field experiment in female-dominated occupations," Natural Field Experiments 00200, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Kate Antonovics & Peter Arcidiacono & Randall Walsh, 2005. "Games and Discrimination: Lessons From The Weakest Link," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 918-947.
  5. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, . ""Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence''," CARESS Working Papres 99-06, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  6. Laura Giuliano & David I. Levine & Jonathan Leonard, 2011. "Racial Bias in the Manager-Employee Relationship: An Analysis of Quits, Dismissals, and Promotions at a Large Retail Firm," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(1), pages 26-52.
  7. Joseph Price & Lars Lefgren & Henry Tappen, 2013. "Interracial Workplace Cooperation: Evidence From The Nba," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 1026-1034, 01.
  8. Kevin Lang & Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann, 2011. "Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market: Theory and Empirics," NBER Working Papers 17450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Dechief, Diane & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2012. "Why do some employers prefer to interview Matthew but not Samir? New evidence from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2012-8, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 19 Feb 2012.
  10. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Jonathan Guryan, 2011. "Studying Discrimination: Fundamental Challenges and Recent Progress," NBER Working Papers 17156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jacquemet, Nicolas & Yannelis, Constantine, 2012. "Indiscriminate discrimination: A correspondence test for ethnic homophily in the Chicago labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 824-832.
  12. Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Testing Theories of Discrimination: Evidence from "Weakest Link"," NBER Working Papers 9449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David Neumark, 2010. "Detecting Discrimination in Audit and Correspondence Studies," NBER Working Papers 16448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2006. "Evidence of Ethnic Discrimination in the Swedish Labor Market Using Experimental Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2281, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Laura Giuliano & David I. Levine & Jonathan Leonard, 2009. "Manager Race and the Race of New Hires," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(4), pages 589-631, October.
  16. repec:hal:journl:hal-00745109 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Mahmood Arai & Moa Bursell & Lena Nekby, 2011. "The Reverse Gender Gap in Ethnic Discrimination: Employer Priors against Men and Women with Arabic Names," Working Papers CEB 11-027, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  18. Habyarimana, James P. & Humphreys, Macartan & Posner, Daniel N. & Weinstein, Jeremy, 2006. "Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision? An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2272, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Alison L. Booth & Andrew Leigh & Elena Varganova, 2012. "Does Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence from a Field Experiment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(4), pages 547-573, 08.
  20. Emmanuel Duguet & Loïc Du Parquet & Yannick L'Horty & Pascale Petit, 2012. "First Order Stochastic Dominance and the Measurement of Hiring Discrimination: A ranking extension of correspondence testings with an application to gender and origin," Working Papers halshs-00731005, HAL.
  21. Sergio Currarini & Paolo Pin & Matthew O. Jackson, 2007. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities and Segregation," Working Papers 2007_20, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  22. Charles F. Westoff & Tomas Frejka, 2007. "Religiousness and Fertility among European Muslims," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(4), pages 785-809.
  23. Michael A. Stoll & Steven Raphael & Harry J. Holzer, 2004. "Black job applicants and the hiring officer's race," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(2), pages 267-287, January.
  24. Pager, Devah & Western, Bruce & Bonikowski, Bart, 2009. "Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4469, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Holzer, Harry J & Raphael, Steven & Stoll, Michael A, 2006. "Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 451-80, October.
  26. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162, May.
  27. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
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