Gender Discrimination in Job Ads: Theory and Evidence

47 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2011 Last revised: 31 Mar 2015

See all articles by Peter Kuhn

Peter Kuhn

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Kailing Shen

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2011

Abstract

We study firms' advertised gender preferences in a population of ads on a Chinese internet job board, and interpret these patterns using a simple employer search model. The model allows us to distinguish firms' underlying gender preferences from firms' propensities to restrict their search to their preferred gender. The model also predicts that higher job skill requirements should reduce the tendency to gender-target a job ad; this is strongly confirmed in our data, and suggests that rising skill demands may be a potent deterrent to explicit discrimination of the type we document here. We also find that firms' underlying gender preferences are highly job-specific, with many firms requesting men for some jobs and women for others, and with one third of the variation in gender preferences within firm*occupation cells.

Suggested Citation

Kuhn, Peter J. and Shen, Kailing, Gender Discrimination in Job Ads: Theory and Evidence (September 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17453. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1932583

Peter J. Kuhn (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Kailing Shen

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Canada

HOME PAGE: http://grad.econ.ubc.ca/kailings/index.html

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