Employer Neighborhoods and Racial Discrimination

42 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2020

See all articles by Amanda Y. Agan

Amanda Y. Agan

Rutgers University, Department of Economics

Sonja B. Starr

University of Chicago

Date Written: November 20, 2020


Using a large field experiment, we show that racial composition of employer neighborhoods predicts employment discrimination patterns in a direction suggesting in-group bias. Our data also show racial disparities in the geographic distribution of job postings. Simulations illustrate how these patterns combine to shape disparities. When jobs are located far from Black neighborhoods, Black applicants are doubly disadvantaged: discrimination patterns disfavor them, and they have fewer nearby opportunities. Finally, building on prior work on Ban-the-Box laws, we show that employers in less Black neighborhoods appear much likelier to stereotype Black applicants as potentially criminal when they lack criminal record information.

Keywords: discrimination, employment, neighborhood, spatial mismatch, field experiment, audit

JEL Classification: J71, J23, R23

Suggested Citation

Agan, Amanda Y. and Starr, Sonja B., Employer Neighborhoods and Racial Discrimination (November 20, 2020). University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 916, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3734515 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3734515

Amanda Y. Agan

Rutgers University, Department of Economics ( email )

New Jersey Hall
75 Hamilton St
08901, NJ Princeton 08540
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/amandayagan/

Sonja B. Starr (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1111 E 60th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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