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Blind dates: quasi-experimental evidence on discrimination

Author

Listed:
  • Edin, Per-Anders

    () (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Lagerström, Jonas

    () (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

Abstract

This paper provides evidence on discrimination in the hiring process. We use data generated from a “policy experiment” conducted at the Swedish public employment offices. Individuals registered at these offices can post their qualifications in a database available to employers over the Internet. Potential employers are free to search this database for job candidates and contacts between employers and candidates are recorded. We use two complementary identification strategies. First, since our data contain all information available to employers, we argue that selection on observables is viable. Second, we utilize the fact that individuals can choose not to reveal their name and gender to potential employers. Our main finding is that women have a 15 percent lower chance than men of getting contacted by employers and that this differential is fully explained by discrimination. Our results concerning ethnic discrimination are less conclusive, probably due to measurement errors.

Suggested Citation

  • Edin, Per-Anders & Lagerström, Jonas, 2006. "Blind dates: quasi-experimental evidence on discrimination," Working Paper Series 2006:4, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2006_004
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    File URL: http://www.ifau.se/upload/pdf/se/2006/wp06-04.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Riach Peter A & Rich Judith, 2006. "An Experimental Investigation of Sexual Discrimination in Hiring in the English Labor Market," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-22, January.
    2. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
    3. Stefan Eriksson & Jonas Lagerström, 2006. "Competition between Employed and Unemployed Job Applicants: Swedish Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(3), pages 373-396, October.
    4. 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.
    5. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
    6. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P., 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Papers 2000:19, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Eriksson & Jonas Lagerström, 2006. "Competition between Employed and Unemployed Job Applicants: Swedish Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(3), pages 373-396, October.
    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. 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.
    4. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2008. "An Experimental Study of Sex Segregation in the Swedish Labour Market: Is Discrimination the Explanation?," IZA Discussion Papers 3811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Åslund, Olof & Forslund, Anders & Liljeberg, Linus, 2017. "Labour market entry of non-Labour migrants – Swedish evidence," Working Paper Series 2017:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    6. Johansson, Per, 2006. "Using internal replication to establish a treatment effect," Working Paper Series 2006:3, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Blind dates; discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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