An Experiment in Hiring Discrimination Via Online Social Networks
Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management
Christina M. Fong
Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences
March 31, 2012
Self-report surveys and anecdotal evidence indicate that US firms use social networking sites to seek information about prospective hires. However, little is known about how the information they find online actually influences firms’ hiring decisions. We present the design and preliminary results of a series of controlled experiments of the impact that information posted online by job applicants can have on employers’ hiring behavior. The experiments focus on traits that US employers are not allowed to inquiry about during interviews, but which can be inferred from perusing applicants' online profiles.
Keywords: Privacy, Economics, Social Networking Sites, Labor Discrimination
JEL Classification: J7working papers series
Date posted: April 2, 2012 ; Last revised: September 3, 2012
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