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Hiring discrimination : a field experiment in the French financial sector

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Abstract

Using correspondence testing, we investigate whether gender access gap in job interviews is due to different effects of present or future family responsibilities on expected productivity of male and female job applicants or if it is due to a taste for discrimination. We have sent job applications of three pairs of candidates to the same job advertisements in the French financial sector. Using three pairs of applicants, we compare the effect on the gender access gap to job interviews of a high probability of maternity/paternity (1) ; high family responsibilities (2) ; neither risk of maternity or family responsibility (3). Within each pair, the applicants' characteristics are similar except for their gender. We find significant discrimination against women with a high probability of maternity for highly qualified administrative jobs. In the other cases, unequal treatment between genders is not significant. So, controlling for female probability of maternity, we find no significant unequal treatment between genders. We conclude that female employment suffers more from their probability of maternity (and their anticipated career interruptions) than family responsibilities alone. So, statistical discrimination due to female probability of maternity exists on the French labour market. An appropriate economic policy may correct it by reducing firms' cost due to maternity leave.

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  • Pascale Petit, 2004. "Hiring discrimination : a field experiment in the French financial sector," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v04086, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:wpsorb:v04086
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-941.
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    5. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2003. "Sexual orientation discrimination in hiring," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 629-642, December.
    6. Kenneth Arrow, 1971. "The Theory of Discrimination," Working Papers 403, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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    8. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
    9. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. S. Baert & B. Cockx & N. Gheyle & C. Vandamme, 2013. "Do Employers Discriminate Less if Vacancies Are Difficult to Fill? Evidence From a Field Experiment," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 13/830, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    2. Laura Gee, 2014. "The More you Know: Information Effects in Job Application Rates by Gender in a Large Field Experiment," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0780, Department of Economics, Tufts University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Field experiment; hiring discrimination.;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition

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