Gender Discrimination in Hiring: Evidence from 19,130 Resumes in China

36 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2013  

Xiangyi Zhou

Xi'an Jiaotong University - Jinhe Center for Economic Research

Jie Zhang

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics

Xuetao Song

North Carolina State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 3, 2013

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Zhou, Xiangyi and Zhang, Jie and Song, Xuetao, Gender Discrimination in Hiring: Evidence from 19,130 Resumes in China (January 3, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2195840 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2195840

Xiangyi Zhou (Contact Author)

Xi'an Jiaotong University - Jinhe Center for Economic Research ( email )

Xian Ning West Road No.28
Xi'an, Shaanxi 710049
China

Jie Zhang

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

Xuetao Song

North Carolina State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Raleigh, NC 27695-8110
United States

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