When Correspondence Studies Fail to Detect Hiring Discrimination

65 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2019

See all articles by Pierre Cahuc

Pierre Cahuc

Ecole Polytechnique, Paris

Stephane L. Carcillo

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Andreea Minea

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Marie‐Anne Valfort

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

Date Written: September 2019

Abstract

Based on a correspondence study conducted in France, we show that fictitious low-skilled applicants in the private sector are half as likely to be called back by the employers when they are of North African rather than French origin. By contrast, the origin of the fictitious applicants does not impact their callback rate in the public sector. We run a survey revealing that recruiters display similarly strong negative discriminatory attitudes towards North Africans in both sectors. We set out a model explaining why differences in discrimination at the stage of invitation for interviews can arise when recruiters display identical discriminatory attitudes in both sectors. The estimation of this model shows that discrimination at the invitation stage is a poor predictor of discrimination at the hiring stage. This suggests that many correspondence studies may fail to detect hiring discrimination and its extent.

Keywords: correspondence studies, discrimination, Public sector

JEL Classification: J45, J70, J71

Suggested Citation

Cahuc, Pierre and Carcillo, Stephane L. and Minea, Andreea and Valfort, Marie-Anne, When Correspondence Studies Fail to Detect Hiring Discrimination (September 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14028, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3464573

Pierre Cahuc (Contact Author)

Ecole Polytechnique, Paris ( email )

1 rue Descartes
Paris, 75005
France

Stephane L. Carcillo

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Andreea Minea

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Marie-Anne Valfort

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne ( email )

17, rue de la Sorbonne
Paris, IL 75005
France

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