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Detecting discrimination in the hiring process: evidence from an Internet-based search channel

Author

Listed:
  • Eriksson, Stefan

    () (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)

  • Lagerström, Jonas

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

Abstract

This paper uses data from an Internet-based CV database to investigate how factors which may be used as a basis for discrimination, such as the searchers’ ethnicity, gender, age and employment status, affect the number of contacts they receive from firms. Since we have access to essentially the same information as the firms, we can handle the problems associated with unobserved heterogeneity better than most existing studies of discrimination. We find that, even when we control for all other differences, searchers who have non-Nordic names, are old or unemployed receive significantly fewer contacts. Moreover, we find that this matters for the hiring outcome: Searchers who receive more contacts have a higher probability of actually getting hired.

Suggested Citation

  • Eriksson, Stefan & Lagerström, Jonas, 2007. "Detecting discrimination in the hiring process: evidence from an Internet-based search channel," Working Paper Series 2007:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2007_019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1990. "Job Search Outcomes for the Employed and Unemployed," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 637-655, June.
    6. 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Joanna N. Lahey, 2008. "Age, Women, and Hiring: An Experimental Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    8. 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.
    9. Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
    10. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
    11. Lahey, Joanna N. & Beasley, Ryan A., 2009. "Computerizing audit studies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 508-514, June.
    12. Belzil, Christian, 1996. "Relative Efficiencies and Comparative Advantages in Job Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 154-173, January.
    13. Magnus Carlsson, 2011. "Does Hiring Discrimination Cause Gender Segregation in the Swedish Labor Market?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 71-102.
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    Cited by:

    1. Akiomi Kitagawa, 2013. "Long-run Consequences of Ranking Job Applicants by Unemployment Duration: Theoretical and Numerical Analyses," DSSR Discussion Papers 13, Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University.
    2. Bøg, Martin & Kranendonk, Erik, 2011. "Labor market discrimination of minorities? yes, but not in job offers," MPRA Paper 33332, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Stefan Eriksson & Per Johansson & Sophie Langenskiöld, 2017. "What is the right profile for getting a job? A stated choice experiment of the recruitment process," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 803-826, September.
    4. Stefan Eriksson & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Do Employers Use Unemployment as a Sorting Criterion When Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 1014-1039, March.
    5. Stefan Eriksson & Jonas Lagerström, 2012. "The Labor Market Consequences of Gender Differences in Job Search," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 303-327, September.
    6. Magnus Carlsson, 2010. "Experimental Evidence of Discrimination in the Hiring of First‐ and Second‐generation Immigrants," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(3), pages 263-278, September.
    7. Postepska, Agnieszka & Vella, Francis, 2017. "Persistent Occupational Hierarchies among Immigrant Worker Groups in the United States Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 10514, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Carlsson, Magnus & Fumarco, Luca & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2018. "Does Labor Market Tightness Affect Ethnic Discrimination in Hiring?," IZA Discussion Papers 11285, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Waddell, Glen R. & Lee, Logan M., 2014. "The Timing of Preference and Prejudice in Sequential Hiring Games," IZA Discussion Papers 8445, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Andersson, Henrik, 2018. "Ethnic Enclaves, Self-Employment and the Economic Performance of Refugees," Working Paper Series 2018:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job search; Unobserved heterogeneity; Discrimination;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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