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Ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions: A meta-analysis of correspondence tests 1990–2015

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  • Zschirnt, Eva
  • Ruedin, Didier

Abstract

For almost 50 years field experiments have been used to study ethnic and racial discrimination in hiring decisions, consistently reporting high rates of discrimination against minority applicants – including immigrants –, irrespective of time, location, or minority groups tested. While Riach and Rich (2002) and Rich (2014) provide systematic reviews of existing field experiments, no study has undertaken a meta-analysis to examine the findings in the studies reported. In this article we present a meta-analysis of 730 correspondence tests in 42 separate studies conducted in OECD countries between 1990 and 2015. In addition to summarizing research findings, we focus on subgroups to ascertain the robustness of findings, emphasizing differences across countries, gender, and economic contexts. Moreover we test hypotheses with regard to taste-based and statistical discrimination. To this end, we draw on the fact that the groups considered in correspondence tests and the contexts of testing vary to some extent. We focus on first- and second generation immigrants, differences between specific minority groups, the implementation of EU directives, and the length of job application packs. There are many indications that ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions reflects taste-based discrimination, although in some cases statistical discrimination seems to occur.

Suggested Citation

  • Zschirnt, Eva & Ruedin, Didier, 2016. "Ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions: A meta-analysis of correspondence tests 1990–2015," EconStor Preprints 142176, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:esprep:142176
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/142176/1/Zschirnt%20Ruedin%202016%20Meta%20Pre-Print.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:spr:izalpo:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40173-017-0084-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:esr:resser:bkmnext342 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2016. "Discrimination against Female Migrants Wearing Headscarves," IZA Discussion Papers 10217, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Hiring Discrimination: An Overview of (Almost) All Correspondence Experiments Since 2005," IZA Discussion Papers 10738, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ethnic discrimination; hiring; correspondence test; meta-analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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