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Unintended Effects of Anonymous Resumes

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  • Behaghel, Luc
  • Crépon, Bruno
  • Le Barbanchon, Thomas

Abstract

We evaluate an experimental program in which the French public employment service anonymized resumes for firms that were hiring. Firms were free to participate or not; participating firms were then randomly assigned to receive either anonymous resumes or name-bearing ones. We find that participating firms become less likely to interview and hire minority candidates when receiving anonymous resumes. We show how these unexpected results can be explained by the self-selection of firms into the program and by the fact that anonymization prevents the attenuation of negative signals when the candidate belongs to a minority.

Suggested Citation

  • Behaghel, Luc & Crépon, Bruno & Le Barbanchon, Thomas, 2014. "Unintended Effects of Anonymous Resumes," CEPR Discussion Papers 10215, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10215
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:adr:anecst:y:2010:i:99-100:p:01 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    3. Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
    4. Krause, Annabelle & Rinne, Ulf & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "Anonymous job applications of fresh Ph.D. economists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 441-444.
    5. Emmanuel Duguet & Yannick L'horty & Dominique Meurs & Pascale Petit, 2010. "Measuring Discriminations : an Introduction," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 99-100, pages 5-14.
    6. Denis Fougère & Yannick L’Horty & Pierre Morin, 2002. "Introduction," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 53(6), pages 1111-1126.
    7. Kroft, Kory & Lange, Fabian & Notowidigdo, Matthew J., 2012. "Duration Dependence and Labor Market Conditions: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2012-21, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Sep 2012.
    8. William Milberg & Pascal Petit, 2010. "Introduction," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3), pages 247-249.
    9. N. Lesca, 2010. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00640602, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Margaret Maurer-Fazio & Lei Lei, 2015. "“As rare as a panda”: How facial attractiveness, gender, and occupation affect interview callbacks at Chinese firms," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 68-85, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    anonymous applications; discrimination; randomized experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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