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Implicit Prejudice and Ethnic Minorities: Arab-Muslims in Sweden

  • Agerström, Jens

    (Kalmar University)

  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

    ()

    (Linnaeus University)

This paper examines whether Swedish employers implicitly/automatically hold i) negative attitudes toward Arab-Muslims, an ethnic minority group subjected to substantial labor market discrimination in Sweden, and more specifically ii) associate members of this minority group with lower work productivity, as compared to native Swedes. Adapted versions of the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald et al., 1998) designed to measure implicit attitudes and productivity stereotypes toward Arab-Muslims were used. Corresponding explicit measures were administered. The results clearly show that employers have stronger negative implicit attitudes toward Arab-Muslims relative to native Swedes as well as implicitly perceive Arab-Muslims to be less productive than native Swedes. Notably, the explicit measures reveal much weaker negative associations. Whereas traditional research has focused on self-conscious, explicit work related attitudes toward various ethnic minority groups, this study offers a novel approach to understanding work related prejudice.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3873.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Journal of Manpower, 2009, 30 (1-2), 43-55
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3873
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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jens, Agerström & Carlsson, Rickard & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "Ethnicity and obesity: evidence of implicit work performance stereotypes in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2007:20, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  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. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "Implicit Discrimination in Hiring: Real World Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2764, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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