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Does Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence from a Field Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Booth, Alison L.

    (Australian National University)

  • Leigh, Andrew

    (Australian National University)

  • Varganova, Elena

    (Australian National University)

Abstract

We conduct a large-scale audit discrimination study to measure labor market discrimination across different minority groups in Australia – a country where one quarter of the population was born overseas. To denote ethnicity, we use distinctively Anglo-Saxon, Indigenous, Italian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern names, and our goal is a comparison across multiple ethnic groups rather than focusing on a single minority as in most other studies. In all cases, we applied for entry-level jobs and submitted a CV showing that the candidate had attended high school in Australia. We find economically and statistically significant differences in callback rates, suggesting that ethnic minority candidates would need to apply for more jobs in order to receive the same number of interviews. These differences vary systematically across groups, with Italians (a more established migrant group) suffering less discrimination than Chinese and Middle Easterners (who have typically arrived more recently). We also explore various explanations for our empirical findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Booth, Alison L. & Leigh, Andrew & Varganova, Elena, 2010. "Does Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4947, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4947
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bursell, Moa, 2007. "What's in a name? A field experiment test for the existence of ethnic discrimination in the hiring process," SULCIS Working Papers 2007:7, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
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    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 239-256, September.
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    8. 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.
    9. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment; discrimination; field experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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