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Blind dates: quasi-experimental evidence on discrimination

  • Edin, Per-Anders

    ()

    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Lagerström, Jonas

    ()

    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

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.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006:4.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 17 May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2006_004
Contact details of provider: Postal: IFAU, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: (+46) 18 - 471 70 70
Fax: (+46) 18 - 471 70 71
Web page: http://www.ifau.se/
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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. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter, 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Working Paper Series 2000:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  7. Eriksson, Stefan & Lagerström, Jonas, 2004. "Competition between employed and unemployed job applicants: Swedish evidence," Working Paper Series 2004:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
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