Unintended Effects of Anonymous Resumes

56 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2014

See all articles by Luc Behaghel

Luc Behaghel

Paris School of Economics; National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST)

Bruno Crepon

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - National School for Statistical and Economic Administration (ENSAE); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Thomas Le Barbanchon

Bocconi university; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Abstract

We evaluate an experimental program in which the French public employment service anonymized resumes for firms that were hiring. Firms were free to participate or not; participating firms were then randomly assigned to receive either anonymous resumes or name-bearing ones. We find that participating firms become less likely to interview and hire minority candidates when receiving anonymous resumes. We show how these unexpected results can be explained by the self-selection of firms into the program and by the fact that anonymization prevents the attenuation of negative signals when the candidate belongs to a minority.

Keywords: anonymous applications, discrimination, randomized experiment

JEL Classification: J71, J78

Suggested Citation

Behaghel, Luc and Crepon, Bruno and Le Barbanchon, Thomas, Unintended Effects of Anonymous Resumes. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8517. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2505379

Luc Behaghel (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST) ( email )

15 Boulevard Gabriel Peri
Malakoff Cedex, 1 92245
France

Bruno Crepon

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - National School for Statistical and Economic Administration (ENSAE) ( email )

92245 Malakoff Cedex
France

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Thomas Le Barbanchon

Bocconi university ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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