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Field experimental evidence on gender discrimination in hiring: Biased as Heckman and Siegelman predicted?

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  • Baert, Stijn

Abstract

Correspondence studies are nowadays viewed as the most compelling avenue to test for hiring discrimination. However, these studies suffer from one fundamental methodological problem, as formulated by Heckman and Siegelman (The Urban Institute audit studies: Their methods and findings. In M. Fix, and R. Struyk (Eds.), Clear and convincing evidence: Measurement of discrimination in America, 1993), namely the bias in their results in case of group differences in the variance of unobserved determinants of hiring outcomes. In this study, the authors empirically investigate this bias in the context of gender discrimination. They do not find significant evidence for the predicted bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Baert, Stijn, 2015. "Field experimental evidence on gender discrimination in hiring: Biased as Heckman and Siegelman predicted?," Economics Discussion Papers 2015-44, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201544
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Magnus Carlsson & Luca Fumarco & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Does the design of correspondence studies influence the measurement of discrimination?," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-17, December.
    2. Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013. "Duration Dependence and Labor Market Conditions: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1123-1167.
    3. Stijn Baert & Bart Cockx & Niels Gheyle & Cora Vandamme, 2015. "Is There Less Discrimination in Occupations Where Recruitment Is Difficult?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(3), pages 467-500, May.
    4. 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.
    5. Stefan Eriksson & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Do Employers Use Unemployment as a Sorting Criterion When Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 1014-1039, March.
    6. Azmat, Ghazala & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2014. "Gender and the labor market: What have we learned from field and lab experiments?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 32-40.
    7. David Neumark, 2012. "Detecting Discrimination in Audit and Correspondence Studies," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 1128-1157.
    8. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    9. Riach Peter A & Rich Judith, 2006. "An Experimental Investigation of Sexual Discrimination in Hiring in the English Labor Market," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-22, January.
    10. Drydakis, Nick, 2009. "Sexual orientation discrimination in the labour market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 364-372, August.
    11. Stijn Baert, 2014. "Career lesbians. Getting hired for not having kids?," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(6), pages 543-561, November.
    12. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    13. Petit, Pascale, 2007. "The effects of age and family constraints on gender hiring discrimination: A field experiment in the French financial sector," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 371-391, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Neumark & Judith Rich, 2016. "Do Field Experiments on Labor and Housing Markets Overstate Discrimination? A Re-examination of the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 22278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:spr:izalpo:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40173-017-0084-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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

    correspondence experiments; gender discrimination; unobserved heterogeneity;

    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
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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