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The Reverse Gender Gap in Ethnic Discrimination: Employer Priors against Men and Women with Arabic Names


  • Mahmood Arai
  • Moa Bursell
  • Lena Nekby


We examine differences in the intensity of employer priors against men and women with Arabic names in Sweden by testing how much more work experience is needed to eliminate the disadvantage of having an Arabic name on job applications. Employers are first sent CVs of equal merits in a field-experiment setup. Arabic-named CVs are thereafter enhanced with more relevant work experience than Swedishnamed CVs. Results indicate a reverse gender gap in employer priors as initial differences in call-backs disappear for female applicants when CVs for Arabic-named applications are enhanced, but remain strong and significant for male applicants. Thus, contrary to what is often assumed about the interaction of gender and ethnicity, we find that Arabic men face stronger discrimination in the labor market than Arabic women.

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  • Mahmood Arai & Moa Bursell & Lena Nekby, 2011. "The Reverse Gender Gap in Ethnic Discrimination: Employer Priors against Men and Women with Arabic Names," DULBEA Working Papers 11-09, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:2013/93226

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Szafarz, Ariane, 2011. "The modern corporation as a safe haven for taste-based discrimination: An agency model of hiring decisions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 487-497, August.
    2. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
    3. Faisal Rabby & William M. Rodgers, 2009. "Post 9-11 U.S. Muslim Labor Market Outcomes," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 19, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Philip Oreopoulos, 2009. "Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Six Thousand Resumes," NBER Working Papers 15036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Asa Rosen, 2003. "Search, Bargaining, and Employer Discrimination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 807-830, October.
    8. Rabby, Faisal & Rodgers III, William M., 2009. "Post 9-11 U.S. Muslim Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 4411, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Neeraj Kaushal & Robert Kaestner & Cordelia Reimers, 2007. "Labor Market Effects of September 11th on Arab and Muslim Residents of the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
    10. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony Edo & Nicolas Jacquemet & Constantine Yannelis, 2013. "Language Skills and Homophilous Hiring Discrimination: Evidence from Gender- and Racially-Differentiated Applications," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13058, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    2. von Essen, Emma & Karlsson, Jonas Karlsson, 2013. "A matter of transient anonymity: Discrimination by gender and foreignness in online auctions," Research Papers in Economics 2013:6, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    3. Zschirnt, Eva & Ruedin, Didier, 2016. "Ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions: A meta-analysis of correspondence tests 1990–2015," EconStor Preprints 142176, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    4. Pernilla Joona & Nabanita Gupta & Eskil Wadensjö, 2014. "Overeducation among immigrants in Sweden: incidence, wage effects and state dependence," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-23, December.
    5. de la Rica, Sara & Glitz, Albrecht & Ortega, Francesc, 2013. "Immigration in Europe: Trends, Policies and Empirical Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 7778, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    Employment Gaps; Ethnicity; Gender; Discrimination; Field Experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing


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