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Are homosexuals discriminated against in the hiring process?

Author

Listed:
  • Ahmed, Ali

    () (Linnaeus University)

  • Andersson, Lina

    () (Linnaeus University)

  • Hammarstedt, Mats

    () (Linnaeus University)

Abstract

This paper presents the first field experiment on sexual orientation discrimination in the hiring process in the Swedish labor market. Job applications were sent to about 4,000 employers in 10 different occupations in Sweden. Gender and sexual orientation were randomly assigned to applications. The results show that sexual orientation discrimi-nation exists in the Swedish labor market. The discrimination against gays and lesbian varies across different occupations and appears only in the private sector. The results also seem to suggest a new dimension of traditional gender roles; the gay applicant was discriminated against in typical male-dominated occupations whereas the lesbian applicant was discriminated against in typical female-dominated occupations. Thus, the results suggest that gays to some extent face the same obstacles on the labor market as heterosexual women.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed, Ali & Andersson, Lina & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2011. "Are homosexuals discriminated against in the hiring process?," Working Paper Series 2011:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2011_021
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nick Drydakis, 2011. "Women's Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Outcomes in Greece," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 89-117.
    2. Rosen, Sherwin, 2007. "Studies in Labor Markets," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226726304.
    3. Ahmed, Ali M. & Andersson, Lina & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2008. "Are lesbians discriminated against in the rental housing market? Evidence from a correspondence testing experiment," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 234-238, September.
    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. Ahmed, Ali M. & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2007. "Detecting discrimination against homosexuals: Evidence from a field experiment on the Internet," CAFO Working Papers 2007:2, Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University.
    6. 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.
    7. Ali M Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2011. "Sexual orientation and occupational rank," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2422-2433.
    8. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2003. "Sexual orientation discrimination in hiring," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 629-642, December.
    9. 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, pages 991-1013.
    10. Bruce Elmslie & Edinaldo Tebaldi, 2007. "Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Discrimination," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 436-453, July.
    11. M.V. Lee Badgett, 2006. "Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation: A Review of the Literature in Economics and Beyond," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Discrimination, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Drydakis, Nick, 2009. "Sexual orientation discrimination in the labour market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 364-372, August.
    13. Suzanne Heller Clain & Karen Leppel, 2001. "An investigation into sexual orientation discrimination as an explanation for wage differences," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 37-47.
    14. repec:feb:natura:0002 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Dan A. Black & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2007. "The Economics of Lesbian and Gay Families," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 53-70, Spring.
    16. Ali M. Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2011. "Inter‐ and Intra‐Household Earnings Differentials among Homosexual and Heterosexual Couples," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 258-278, July.
    17. Ali M. Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2012. "Does age matter for employability? A field experiment on ageism in the Swedish labour market," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 403-406, March.
    18. Ali M. Ahmed & Mats Hammarstedt, 2009. "Detecting Discrimination against Homosexuals: Evidence from a Field Experiment on the Internet," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 588-597, July.
    19. Nick Drydakis, . "Womenâ??s Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 0907, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
    20. Ali Ahmed & Mats Hammarstedt, 2010. "Sexual orientation and earnings: a register data-based approach to identify homosexuals," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 835-849.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephan Humpert, 2012. "Somewhere over the Rainbow: Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics 245, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor market discrimination; sexual orientation; field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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