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Gender Discrimination in Job Ads: Theory and Evidence


  • Peter Kuhn


  • Kailing Shen


We study firms’ advertised gender preferences in a population of ads on a Chinese internet job board, and interpret these patterns using a simple employer search model. The model allows us to distinguish firms’ underlying gender preferences from firms’ propensities to restrict their search to their preferred gender. The model also predicts that higher job skill requirements should reduce the tendency to gender-target a job ad; this is strongly confirmed in our data. We also find that firms’ underlying gender preferences are highly job-specific, with many firms requesting men for some jobs and women for others, and with one third of the variation in gender preferences within firm occupation cells. [IZA DP No. 5195]

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  • Peter Kuhn & Kailing Shen, 2010. "Gender Discrimination in Job Ads: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers id:2915, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:2915
    Note: Institutional Papers

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shing-Yi Wang, 2013. "Marriage Networks, Nepotism, and Labor Market Outcomes in China," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 91-112, July.
    2. Maitreyi Bordia Das, 2016. "All in my Head? The Play of Exclusion and Discrimination in the Labor Market," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(02), pages 1-20, June.
    3. HLASNY, Vladimir, 2014. "Four pillars of job applicant screening in China," Working Papers 2014029, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    4. Zhou, Xiangyi & Zhang, Jie & Song, Xuetao, 2013. "Gender Discrimination in Hiring: Evidence from 19,130 Resumes in China," MPRA Paper 43543, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    discrimination; gender; China; internet; search;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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