Is it Your Foreign Name or Foreign Qualifications? An Experimental Study of Ethnic Discrimination in Hiring

32 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2008

See all articles by Magnus Carlsson

Magnus Carlsson

University of Kalmar

Dan-Olof Rooth

University of Kalmar; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

This paper contributes to the existing literature on ethnic discrimination of immigrants in hiring by addressing the central question of what employers act on in a job application. The method involved sending qualitatively identical resumes signalling belonging to different ethnic groups to firms advertising for labour. The results show that whether the applicant has a native sounding or a foreign sounding name explains approximately 77 per cent of the total gap in the probability of being invited to an interview between natives and immigrants, while having foreign qualifications only explains the remaining 23 per cent. This in turn, suggests a lower bound for statistical discrimination of approximately 23 per cent of total discrimination. The analysis indicates further that the 77 per cent are most likely driven by a mixture of preference-based and statistical discrimination.

Keywords: statistical discrimination, ethnic discrimination, hiring, job search, preference-based discrimination, correspondence testing

JEL Classification: J64, J71

Suggested Citation

Carlsson, Magnus and Rooth, Dan-Olof, Is it Your Foreign Name or Foreign Qualifications? An Experimental Study of Ethnic Discrimination in Hiring. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1298253 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1298253

Magnus Carlsson (Contact Author)

University of Kalmar ( email )

Sweden

Dan-Olof Rooth

University of Kalmar ( email )

Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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