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Detecting Discrimination in Audit and Correspondence Studies

  • Neumark, David

    ()

    (University of California, Irvine)

Audit studies testing for discrimination have been criticized because applicants from different groups may not appear identical to employers. Correspondence studies address this criticism by using fictitious paper applicants whose qualifications can be made identical across groups. However, Heckman and Siegelman (1993) show that group differences in the variance of unobservable determinants of productivity can still generate spurious evidence of discrimination in either direction. This paper shows how to recover an unbiased estimate of discrimination when the correspondence study includes variation in applicant characteristics that affect hiring. The method is applied to actual data and assessed using Monte Carlo methods.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5263.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5263
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  1. William A. Darity & Patrick L. Mason, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Employment: Codes of Color, Codes of Gender," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 63-90, Spring.
  2. Riach, Peter A. & Rich, Judy, 2007. "An Experimental Investigation of Age Discrimination in the Spanish Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 2654, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Joanna N. Lahey, 2008. "Age, Women, and Hiring: An Experimental Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  4. Richard Startz & Lundberg, . "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 19-81, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  5. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1995. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," NBER Working Papers 5024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hellerstein, Judith K. & Neumark, David, 2005. "Using Matched Employer-Employee Data to Study Labor Market Discrimination," IZA Discussion Papers 1555, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Lahey, Joanna N. & Beasley, Ryan A., 2009. "Computerizing audit studies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 508-514, June.
  8. 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.
  9. Hellerstein, J-K & Neumark, D, 1995. "Sex, Wages, and Productivity : an Empirical Analysis of Israeli, Firm-Level Data," Papers 9501, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
  10. Cornelißen, Thomas, 2005. "Standard errors of marginal effects in the heteroskedastic probit model," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-320, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
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