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

  • Eriksson, Stefan

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)

  • Lagerström, Jonas

    ()

    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

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.

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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 2007:19.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 25 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Eriksson, Stefan and Jonas Lagerström, 'Detecting discrimination in the hiring process: evidence from an Internet-based search channel' in Empirical Economics, 2012, pages 537-563.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2007_019
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. 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. 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.
  3. Joanna Lahey, 2006. "Age, Women, and Hiring: An Experimental Study," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-23, Center for Retirement Research, revised Nov 2006.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  9. Lahey, Joanna N. & Beasley, Ryan A., 2009. "Computerizing audit studies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 508-514, June.
  10. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2000. "Is it sex or personality? The impact of sex-stereotypes on discrimination in applicant selection," Economics working papers 2000-11, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  11. 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 637-55, June.
  12. 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).
  13. Belzil, Christian, 1996. "Relative Efficiencies and Comparative Advantages in Job Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 154-73, January.
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