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An experimental investigation of sexual discrimination in hiring in the english labor market

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  • Peter Riach
  • Judith Rich

Abstract

Pairs of carefully-matched, written applications were made to advertised job vacancies in England to test for sexual discrimination in hiring. Two standard resumes were constructed for each occupation to control for all relevant supply-side variables, such as qualifications, experience and age. Consequently any differential response recorded can be attributed to demand-side discrimination. Statistically significant discrimination against men was found in the `female occupation' - secretary, and against women in the `male occupation' - engineer. Statistically significant, and unprecedented, discrimination against men was found in two `mixed occupations' - trainee chartered accountant and computer analyst programmer.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Riach & Judith Rich, 2006. "An experimental investigation of sexual discrimination in hiring in the english labor market," Natural Field Experiments 00329, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00329
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377.
    2. Riach, Peter A & Rich, Judith, 1991. "Testing for Racial Discrimination in the Labour Market," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 239-256, September.
    3. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162.
    4. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2004. "Is It Sex or Personality? The Impact of Sex Stereotypes on Discrimination in Applicant Selection," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 159-186, Spring.
    5. Phillip Nelson & Solomon W. Polachek, 1995. "Discerning Discrimination: Does Interviewing Firms Make a Difference?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 393-398, Summer.
    6. Peter A. Riach & Judith Rich, 2004. "Deceptive Field Experiments of Discrimination: Are they Ethical?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 457-470, August.
    7. John A. List, 2004. "The Nature and Extent of Discrimination in the Marketplace: Evidence from the Field," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 49-89.
    8. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
    9. 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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