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Ethnic Discrimination in Contacts with Public Authorities: A Correspondence Test Among Swedish Municipalities

Author

Listed:
  • Ahmed, Ali

    (Department of Management and Engineering)

  • Hammarstedt, Mats

    (Linnaeus University Centre for Discrimination and Integration Studies)

Abstract

We present a field experiment conducted in order to explore the existence of ethnic discrimination in contact with public authorities. Two fictitious parents, one with a Swedish-sounding name and one with an Arabic-sounding name, sent email inquiries to all Swedish municipalities asking for information about preschool admission for their children. Results show that the parents were treated differently by the municipalities since the individual with the Swedish-sounding name received significantly more responses that answered the question in the inquiry than the individual with the Arabic-sounding name. Also, the individual with the Swedish-sounding name received more warm answers than the individual with the Arabic-sounding name in the sense that the answer from the municipality started with a personal salutation. We conclude that ethnic discrimination is prevalent in public sector contacts and that this discrimination has implications for the integration of immigrants and their children.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed, Ali & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2019. "Ethnic Discrimination in Contacts with Public Authorities: A Correspondence Test Among Swedish Municipalities," Working Paper Series 1271, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1271
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ali M. Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2010. "Can Discrimination in the Housing Market Be Reduced by Increasing the Information about the Applicants?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-90.
    2. Audra J. Bowlus & Zvi Eckstein, 2002. "Discrimination and Skill Differences in an Equilibrium Search Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1309-1345, November.
    3. Jens Dietrichson & Ida Lykke Kristiansen & Bjørn A. Viinholt, 2020. "Universal Preschool Programs And Long‐Term Child Outcomes: A Systematic Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(5), pages 1007-1043, December.
    4. Aalto, Aino-Maija & Mörk, Eva & Sjögren, Anna & Svaleryd, Helena, 2019. "Does childcare improve the health of children with unemployed parents? Evidence from Swedish childcare access reform," Working Paper Series 2019:1, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Adman, Per & Larsson Taghizadeh, Jonas, 2020. "Public officials’ treatment of minority clients," Working Paper Series 2020:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Discrimination; Subtle discrimination; Authorities; Field experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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