Does Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence from a Field Experiment

35 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2009

See all articles by Alison L. Booth

Alison L. Booth

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Andrew Leigh

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House; Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU; IZA

Elena Varganova

Australian National University

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 9, 2009

Abstract

We conduct a large-scale audit discrimination study to measure labor market discrimination across different minority groups in Australia – a country where one quarter of the population was born overseas. To denote ethnicity, we use distinctively Anglo-Saxon, Indigenous, Italian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern names, and our goal is a comparison across multiple ethnic groups rather than focusing on a single minority as in most other studies. In all cases, we applied for entry-level jobs and submitted a CV showing that the candidate had attended high school in Australia. We find economically and statistically significant differences in callback rates, suggesting that ethnic minority candidates would need to apply for more jobs in order to receive the same number of interviews. These differences vary systematically across groups, with Italians (a more established migrant group) suffering less discrimination than Chinese and Middle Easterners (who have typically arrived more recently). We also explore various explanations for our empirical findings.

Keywords: discrimination, field experiments, employment

JEL Classification: J71, C93

Suggested Citation

Booth, Alison L. and Leigh, Andrew and Varganova, Elena, Does Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence from a Field Experiment (December 9, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1521229 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1521229

Alison L. Booth

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
+61 2 6125 3285 (Phone)
+61 2 6125 0182 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Andrew Leigh (Contact Author)

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House ( email )

Canberra, 2600
Australia

Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU ( email )

ANU College of Business and Economics
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

IZA ( email )

Elena Varganova

Australian National University ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

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