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Is It Your Foreign Name or Foreign Qualifications? An Experimental Study of Ethnic Discrimination in Hiring

  • Carlsson, Magnus

    ()

    (Linnaeus University)

  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

    ()

    (Linnaeus University)

This paper contributes to the existing literature on ethnic discrimination of immigrants in hiring by addressing the central question of what employers act on in a job application. The method involved sending qualitatively identical resumes signalling belonging to different ethnic groups to firms advertising for labour. The results show that whether the applicant has a native sounding or a foreign sounding name explains approximately 77 per cent of the total gap in the probability of being invited to an interview between natives and immigrants, while having foreign qualifications only explains the remaining 23 per cent. This in turn, suggests a lower bound for statistical discrimination of approximately 23 per cent of total discrimination. The analysis indicates further that the 77 per cent are most likely driven by a mixture of preference-based and statistical discrimination.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3810.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3810
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  1. 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.
  2. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
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