Correspondence Audit Studies are Necessary to Understand Discrimination

5 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2021

See all articles by S. Michael Gaddis

S. Michael Gaddis

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - California Center for Population Research

Charles Crabtree

Dartmouth College

Date Written: March 1, 2021

Abstract

Audit studies are a type of field experiment in which researchers use individuals or correspondence (e.g., emails, job applications) to accomplish real tasks and ”audit” decision-makers’ responses to specific characteristics. Audits are extraordinarily valuable because they produce better measures of discrimination than surveys or interviews. They provide the bulk of internally valid evidence that discrimination is a persistent and pervasive phenomenon. While we can and should do better in designing and conducting audits, we cannot discard them completely. In doing so, we would set aside our best tool for examining “what,” “when,” “where,” and even “why” discrimination occurs. Substantially limiting audits would be shortsighted at a time when many forms of discrimination persist across the world.

Keywords: audit, audit studies, correspondence audit, discrimination

Suggested Citation

Gaddis, S. Michael and Crabtree, Charles, Correspondence Audit Studies are Necessary to Understand Discrimination (March 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3813269 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3813269

S. Michael Gaddis (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology ( email )

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Box 951361
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University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - California Center for Population Research ( email )

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Charles Crabtree

Dartmouth College ( email )

211 Silsby Hall, 3 Tuck Mall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

HOME PAGE: http://charlescrabtree.com

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