IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do labour market conditions affect the extent of gender discrimination?


  • Eva O. Arceo-Gómez
  • Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez


The market environment in which discriminatory firms operate may be a relevant determinant of their extent of discrimination. In this paper we aim at analysing the effect of local labour market conditions on a firm’s decision to discriminate. We use a direct measure of discrimination using online job advertisements which use ascriptive characteristics (such as gender, age, marital status or even physique) to describe their ideal candidates, to which we will refer as explicit discrimination. In theory, the effect of the unemployment rate on discrimination is ambiguous. Using data from over 300,000 online job ads, we find suggestive, though not definitive, evidence that firms explicitly discriminate more when the unemployment rate is higher: a percentage point increase in the unemployment rate is correlated with a 0.7 percentage point increase in the probability that an ad is targeted. We also found that in slack labour markets, firms tend to target their ads to men more often than in tight labour markets. However, as the unemployment rate increases firms discriminate less on the basis of beauty.

Suggested Citation

  • Eva O. Arceo-Gómez & Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez, 2016. "Do labour market conditions affect the extent of gender discrimination?," WIDER Working Paper Series 080, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2016-080

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    language policy; Zambia; discrimination; beliefs; education policy; minorities; fractionalization; local languages;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2016-080. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mauricio Roa Grisales). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.