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Between Meritocracy and Ethnic Discrimination: The Gender Difference

  • Arai, Mahmood

    ()

    (Stockholm University)

  • Bursell, Moa

    ()

    (Stockholm University)

  • Nekby, Lena

    ()

    (Stockholm University)

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 unfavorable 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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3467.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3467
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  1. Meyer, Margaret A, 1991. "Learning from Coarse Information: Biased Contests and Career Profiles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 15-41, January.
  2. 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.
  3. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are emily and greg more employable than lakisha and jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination," Natural Field Experiments 00216, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," NBER Working Papers 9938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical theories of discrimination in labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
  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. 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.
  10. Judith Rich & Peter Riach, 2002. "Field experiments of discrimination in the market place," Natural Field Experiments 00328, The Field Experiments Website.
  11. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
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