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Adaptive Correspondence Experiments

Author

Listed:
  • Hadar Avivi
  • Patrick M. Kline
  • Evan Rose
  • Christopher R. Walters

Abstract

Correspondence experiments probe for discrimination by manipulating employer perceptions of applicant characteristics. We consider the gains from dynamically adapting the number and characteristics of fictitious applications to the sequence of employer responses received so far. Calibrating the employer callback process to data from a recent correspondence experiment by Nunley et al. (2015), we find it is possible to cut the number of applications required to detect a fixed number of discriminatory jobs roughly in half relative to the static benchmark design that sends the same number and mix of applications to all jobs. These gains are achieved primarily from abandoning jobs with very low callback probabilities and those that demonstrate a willingness to call black applicants.

Suggested Citation

  • Hadar Avivi & Patrick M. Kline & Evan Rose & Christopher R. Walters, 2021. "Adaptive Correspondence Experiments," NBER Working Papers 28319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:28319
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    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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