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Do ethnicity and sex of employers affect applicants job interest?: An experimental exploration
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University. Swedish Unemployment Insurance Inspectorate IAF, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1798-8284
2020 (English)In: JOURNAL FOR LABOUR MARKET RESEARCH, ISSN 2510-5019, Vol. 54, no 1, article id 15Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Starting a business is one way out of unemployment for many people. Having a small pool of job applicants may, however, affect the quality of manpower available to employers. This paper reports the results of an experimental study that examined whether job-seekers discriminate against prospective employers based on those employers ethnicity and sex. We conducted an experiment with 889 university students, where we presented 10 hypothetical job vacancies in the restaurant sector to the participants. We then asked participants to state their willingness to apply to each job. The ethnicity and sex of the employers were conveyed through employers names by using typical male and female Arabic- and Swedish-sounding names. Overall, our results provided no evidence of ethnic or sex discrimination by job-seekers against employers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2020. Vol. 54, no 1, article id 15
Keywords [en]
Discrimination; Job search; Labor demand; Labor supply; Workers; Employers; J71; J29
National Category
International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-171470DOI: 10.1186/s12651-020-00281-xISI: 000582921100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85094649478OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-171470DiVA, id: diva2:1502648
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council [2018-03487]

Available from: 2020-11-20 Created: 2020-11-20 Last updated: 2024-04-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Discrimination in hiring: Some experiments, perspectives, and implications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Discrimination in hiring: Some experiments, perspectives, and implications
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Hiring discrimination is illegal, morally distasteful, and seen as incommensurate with modern societal ideals. From an economic perspective, if employers hire based on anything other than an applicant’s expected productivity they are behaving inefficiently. If group markers are imperfect signals of productivity, discrimination is also inefficient. Measuring discrimination is a substantial practical challenge but indispensable to policy development and theory evaluation. This thesis focuses on correspondence testing, experiments where researchers create fictitious applicants who apply for real jobs, and then analyze differences in responses between groups to arrive at credible estimates of discrimination. 

In chapter I, "Do ethnicity and sex of employers affect applicants' job interest? An experimental exploration," co-authored with Ali Ahmed and Niklas Ottosson and published 2020 in Journal for Labour Market Research, we present the findings of a survey experiment. We tested the novel hypothesis that job seekers may discriminate against employers based on ethnicity or gender when they are choosing jobs to apply to. Ultimately, we concluded that the survey experiment provided no evidence of such discrimination. 

In chapter II, "Hiring discrimination against transgender people: Evidence from a field experiment," co-authored with Per A. Andersson and Ali Ahmed and published 2020 in Labour Economics, we present the findings of a correspondence experiment that tested for hiring discrimination against transgender applicants. We found that transgender applicants were indeed discriminated against in hiring, but that there were some important nuances. For example, transgender men seemed to be discriminated against in male-dominated occupations because they were transgender and in female-dominated occupations because they were men. 

In chapter III, "Gender discrimination in hiring: An experimental reexamination of the Swedish case," co-authored with Ali Ahmed and Shantanu Khanna published 2021 in Plos One, we present the findings of a study that combined data from three previously published correspondence experiments. Although these experiments were originally designed to test other hypotheses, we used the data to test for gender discrimination in hiring. We found discrimination against males, largely driven by female-dominated occupations. 

In chapter IV, "An assessment of the correspondence testing methodology," I describe and analyze the methodology and ethics of correspondence tests. I do this by reviewing the 199 correspondence studies published between 2005 and 2020, focusing on methodological choices and the ethical implications of those choices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2022
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Sciences, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 832
Keywords
Discrimination, Job search, Labor demand, Labor supply, Field experiment, Correspondence test, Transgender people, Gender, Experimental design, Research ethics
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-183732 (URN)10.3384/9789179292492 (DOI)9789179292485 (ISBN)9789179292492 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-04-22, ACAS, A Building, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-03-21 Created: 2022-03-21 Last updated: 2022-03-21Bibliographically approved
2. Two Essays on the Economics of Discrimination: Ethnicity and Gender in the Labour Market and Welfare System
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Two Essays on the Economics of Discrimination: Ethnicity and Gender in the Labour Market and Welfare System
2024 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis covers two areas of the labour market not commonly studied in the context of discrimination: potential bias of job seekers against employers based on ethnicity and gender, and discrimination against employment seekers in the context of the unemployment insurance system. Utilizing survey experiments, both studies yield robust null results. Overall, these studies contribute to the understanding of discrimination dynamics in the labour market and welfare systems. Paper I shows that job seekers may not be motivated by discriminatory practices when seeking employment. However, more research is needed, and future work should be focused on natural experiments to prevent limitations similar to those in our study. Paper II highlights the importance of strict legal frameworks and of maintaining rigorous standards in public service delivery to mitigate discriminatory practices. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2024. p. 9
Series
Faculty of Arts and Sciences thesis, ISSN 1401-4637 ; 135
Keywords
Discrimination, Job search, Labour demand, Labour supply, Workers, Employers, Unemployment insurance, Welfare, Public administration, Decision-making
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-202977 (URN)10.3384/9789180756525 (DOI)9789180756518 (ISBN)9789180756525 (ISBN)
Presentation
2024-05-20, Diana, A-Building, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Funding: Swedish Unemployment Insurance Inspectorate

Available from: 2024-04-23 Created: 2024-04-23 Last updated: 2024-04-23Bibliographically approved

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