Gender Discrimination in Hiring: Evidence from 19,130 Resumes in China
36 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 3, 2013
We study gender discrimination in hiring markets by sending 19,130 fictitious matched resumes in response to professional employment advertisements posted on major Internet employment boards in China for positions such as engineers, accountants, secretaries, and marketing professionals in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Chengdu. Our results show that, in general, state-owned firms tend to prefer male applicants. Foreign and private firms tend to prefer female applicants. On one hand, this evidence supports the hypothesis that economic reform and the market economy may mitigate gender discrimination. On the other hand, this evidence is consistent with statistics that describe discrimination based on gender segregation and information asymmetry that originated with higher ratios of female workers in foreign and private firms. With respect to regional income disparity, we find that the differences in gender discrimination between first- and second-tier cities are not significant. This result indicates that economic reform exerts limited mitigation effect on discrimination. We also find no evidence of taste discrimination based on traditional son preference in China.
Keywords: Discrimination, Audit Study, Gender, Employment
JEL Classification: J71, O12
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