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

Author

Listed:
  • Carlsson, Magnus

    () (Linnaeus University)

  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

    () (Stockholm University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2008. "Is It Your Foreign Name or Foreign Qualifications? An Experimental Study of Ethnic Discrimination in Hiring," IZA Discussion Papers 3810, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3810
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2004. "Is It Sex or Personality? The Impact of Sex Stereotypes on Discrimination in Applicant Selection," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 159-186, Spring.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "Work out or out of work -- The labor market return to physical fitness and leisure sports activities," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 399-409, June.
    2. Stijn Baert & Bart Cockx & Niels Gheyle & Cora Vandamme, 2013. "Do Employers Discriminate Less if Vacancies are Difficult to Fill? Evidence from a Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 4093, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2015. "Discrimination against Migrants in Austria: An Experimental Study," IZA Discussion Papers 9354, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:bla:germec:v:18:y:2017:i:2:p:237-265 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bøg, Martin & Kranendonk, Erik, 2011. "Labor market discrimination of minorities? yes, but not in job offers," MPRA Paper 33332, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "Automatic associations and discrimination in hiring: Real world evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 523-534, June.
    7. Katz, Katarina & Österberg, Torun, 2013. "Wages of childhood immigrants in Sweden – education, returns to education and overeducation," Working Paper Series 2013:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    8. K. Burggraeve & C. Piton, 2016. "The economic consequences of the flow of refugees into Belgium," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue i, pages 43-61, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ethnic discrimination; hiring; job search; correspondence testing; preference-based discrimination; statistical discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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