Do Firms Discriminate Against the Unemployed? A Field Experiment

16 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2001

See all articles by Felix Oberholzer-Gee

Felix Oberholzer-Gee

Harvard Business School, Strategy Unit

Date Written: January 2001

Abstract

Discriminatory hiring practices, while of substantial empirical and theoretical interest, are notoriously difficult to document. This paper compares hiring practices in the United States and in Switzerland, using an experimental setup that allows me to isolate the effect of firm decisions on the probability of being invited to a job interview. Firm behavior in these two markets is strikingly different. While businesses operating in Switzerland discriminate heavily against the long-term unemployed, I find no evidence for discriminatory practices among U.S. firms.

Keywords: discrimination, duration dependence, labor market institutions

JEL Classification: J64, J68, J71

Suggested Citation

Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Do Firms Discriminate Against the Unemployed? A Field Experiment (January 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=257048 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.257048

Felix Oberholzer-Gee (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School, Strategy Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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