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

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Edo, Anthony & Jacquemet, Nicolas & Yannelis, Constantine, 2013. "Language Skills and Homophilous Hiring Discrimination: Evidence from Gender- and Racially-Differentiated Applications," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1313, CEPREMAP.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1313
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    Cited by:

    1. Berson, Clémence & Laouénan, Morgane & Valat, Emmanuel, 2020. "Outsourcing recruitment as a solution to prevent discrimination: A correspondence study," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    2. Edo, Anthony & Giesing, Yvonne & Öztunc, Jonathan & Poutvaara, Panu, 2019. "Immigration and electoral support for the far-left and the far-right," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 99-143.
    3. Salamanca Nicolas & Feld Jan, 2017. "A Short Note on Discrimination and Favoritism in the Labor Market," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-10, January.
    4. Souleymane Mbaye, 2019. "Trois évaluations d’actions de lutte contre les discriminations," Erudite Ph.D Dissertations, Erudite, number ph19-01 edited by Pascale Petit, November.
    5. Jacques Melitz & Farid Toubal, 2019. "Somatic distance, trust and trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 786-802, August.
    6. Koopmans, Ruud & Veit, Susanne & Yemane, Ruta, 2018. "Ethnische Hierarchien in der Bewerberauswahl: Ein Feldexperiment zu den Ursachen von Arbeitsmarktdiskriminierung," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Migration, Integration, Transnationalization SP VI 2018-104, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    7. Koopmans, Ruud & Veit, Susanne & Yemane, Ruta, 2019. "Taste or statistics? A correspondence study of ethnic, racial and religious labour market discrimination in Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 233-252.
    8. Romain Aeberhardt & Élise Coudin & Roland Rathelot, 2017. "The heterogeneity of ethnic employment gaps," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 307-337, January.
    9. Melitz, Jacques & Toubal, Farid, 2018. "Somatic distance, cultural affinities, trust and trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 12895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Matthieu Manant & Serge Pajak & Nicolas Soulié, 2019. "Can social media lead to labor market discrimination? Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 225-246, April.
    11. Fortuna Casoria Author e-mail: casoria@gate.cnrs.fr & Ernesto Reuben Author e-mail: ereuben@nyu.edu & Christina Rott Author e-mail: c.e.rott@vu.nl, 2020. "The Effect of Group Identity on Hiring Decisions with Incomplete Information," Working Papers 20200059, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Nov 2020.
    12. Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Hiring Discrimination: An Overview of (Almost) All Correspondence Experiments Since 2005," GLO Discussion Paper Series 61, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    13. Pekkala Kerr, Sari & Kerr, William, 2020. "Immigrant entrepreneurship in America: Evidence from the survey of business owners 2007 & 2012," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(3).
    14. Dale-Olsen, Harald & Finseraas, Henning, 2020. "Linguistic diversity and workplace productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    15. Gaddis, S. Michael, 2018. "An Introduction to Audit Studies in the Social Sciences," SocArXiv e5hfc, Center for Open Science.
    16. Pierre Deschamps, 2018. "Gender Quotas in Hiring Committees: a Boon or a Bane for Women?," Sciences Po publications 82, Sciences Po.
    17. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2021. "Whose Job Is It Anyway? Co-Ethnic Hiring in New U.S. Ventures," Working Papers 21-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    18. Attakrit Leckcivilize & Alexander Straub, 2018. "Headscarf and job recruitment—lifting the veil of labour market discrimination," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-32, December.
    19. Manant, Matthieu & Pajak, Serge & Soulié, Nicolas, 2014. "Do recruiters 'like' it? Online social networks and privacy in hiring: a pseudo-randomized experiment," MPRA Paper 56845, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    correspondence testing; gender discrimination; racial discrimination; ethnic homophily; language skills;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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