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Between Meritocracy and Ethnic Discrimination: The Gender Difference

  • Arai, Mahmood


    (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)

  • Bursell, Moa


    (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)

  • Nekby, Lena


    (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)

Using a two stage correspondence test methodology, this study tests employer priors against job-applicants with Arabic names compared to job-applicants with Swedish names. In the first stage, employers are sent CVs of equal observable quality. Thereafter, in the second stage, the CVs with Arabic names are given an advantage of, on average, two more years of relevant work experience. This setup allows us to test the strength of unfavourable priors against job-applicants with Arabic names and to what degree these priors are revised, on average, when resumes are enhanced. Results indicate no significant differences in call-backs for female applicants when CVs with Arabic names are enhanced. The call-back gap for men however remains large and significant despite a positive adjustment of CVs with Arabic names. This implies that negative priors against male job applicants with Arabic names are not revised by an increase in observable merits.

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Paper provided by Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS in its series SULCIS Working Papers with number 2008:2.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 18 Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sulcis:2008_002
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Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden

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  1. 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.
  2. Judith Rich & Peter Riach, 2002. "Field experiments of discrimination in the market place," Natural Field Experiments 00328, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical Theories of Discrimination in Labor Markets," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
  4. Riach, Peter A & Rich, Judith, 1991. "Testing for Racial Discrimination in the Labour Market," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 239-56, September.
  5. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2006. "Evidence of Ethnic Discrimination in the Swedish Labor Market Using Experimental Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2281, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  7. Arai, Mahmood & Billot, Antoine & Lanfranchi, Joseph, 1999. "Learning by Helping: A Bounded Rationality Model of Mentoring," Research Papers in Economics 1999:14, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  8. Mahmood Arai & Peter Skogman Thoursie, 2009. "Renouncing Personal Names: An Empirical Examination of Surname Change and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 127-147, 01.
  9. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805.
  10. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  11. Margaret A. Meyer, 1991. "Learning from Coarse Information: Biased Contests and Career Profiles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 15-41.
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