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Race and Marriage in the Labor Market: A Discrimination Correspondence Study in a Developing Country

  • Eva Olimpia Arceo Gómez

    ()

    (Division of Economics, CIDE)

  • Raymundo Campos-Vázquez

In Mexico, as in most Latin American countries with indigenous populations, it is commonly believed that European phenotypes are preferred to mestizo or indigenous phenotypes. However, it is hard to test for such racial biases in the labor market using official statistics since race can only be inferred from native language. Moreover, employers may think that married females have lower productivity, and hence they may be more reluctant to hire them. We are interested in testing both hypotheses through a field experiment in the labor market. The experiment consisted on sending fictitious curriculums (CVs) responding to job advertisements with randomized information of the applicants. The CVs included photographs representing three distinct phenotypes: Caucasian, mestizo and indigenous. We also randomly vary marital status across gender and phenotype. Hence, our test consists on finding whether there are significant differences in the callback rates. We find that females have 40 percent more callbacks than males. We also find that indigenous looking females are discriminated against, but the effect is not present for males. Interestingly, married females are penalized in the labor market and this penalty is higher for indigenous-looking women. We did not find an effect of marital status on males.

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File URL: http://cide.edu/repec/economia/pdf/DTE553.pdf
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Paper provided by CIDE, División de Economía in its series Working papers with number DTE 553.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:emc:wpaper:dte553
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  1. Alison Booth & Andrew Leigh, 2010. "Do Employers Discriminate by Gender? A Field Experiment in Female-Dominated Occupations," CEPR Discussion Papers 632, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Peter Kuhn & Kailing Shen, 2013. "Gender Discrimination in Job Ads: Evidence from China," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 287-336.
  3. David Neumark, 2010. "Detecting Discrimination in Audit and Correspondence Studies," NBER Working Papers 16448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1998. "What Has Economics to Say about Racial Discrimination?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 91-100, Spring.
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  6. David Bravo & Claudia Sanhueza & Sergio Urzua, 2008. "An Experimental Study of Labor Market Discrimination: Gender, Social Class and Neighborhood in Chile," Research Department Publications 3242, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. Joanna N. Lahey, 2008. "Age, Women, and Hiring: An Experimental Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  8. Nick Drydakis, 2011. "Ethnic discrimination in the Greek housing market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 1235-1255, October.
  9. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  10. Ahmed, Ali M. & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2008. "Discrimination in the rental housing market: A field experiment on the Internet," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 362-372, September.
  11. Booth, Alison L & Leigh, Andrew & Varganova, Elena, 2010. "Does Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence From a Field Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7913, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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).
  13. 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).
  14. Leo Kaas & Christian Manger, 2012. "Ethnic Discrimination in Germany's Labour Market: A Field Experiment," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(1), pages 1-20, 02.
  15. repec:wyi:journl:002164 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "Automatic associations and discrimination in hiring: Real world evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 523-534, June.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Lahey, Joanna N. & Beasley, Ryan A., 2009. "Computerizing audit studies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 508-514, June.
  20. Banerjee, Abhijit & Bertrand, Marianne & Datta, Saugato & Mullainathan, Sendhil, 2009. "Labor market discrimination in Delhi: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 14-27, March.
  21. Dan-Olof Rooth, 2009. "Obesity, Attractiveness, and Differential Treatment in Hiring: A Field Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  22. Bursell, Moa, 2007. "What's in a name? A field experiment test for the existence of ethnic discrimination in the hiring process," SULCIS Working Papers 2007:7, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
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