Taryn versus Taryn (she/her) versus Taryn (they/them): A Field Experiment on Pronoun Disclosure and Nonbinary Hiring Discrimination

64 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2024 Last revised: 17 Apr 2024

See all articles by Taryn Eames

Taryn Eames

University of Toronto - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 14, 2024

Abstract

Nonbinary people have a gender identity that falls outside the male-female binary. To investigate hiring discrimination against this group, thousands of randomly generated fictitious resumes were submitted to job postings in pairs where the treatment resume contained pronouns listed below the name and the control resume did not. Two treatments were considered: nonbinary "they/them" and binary "he/him" or "she/her" pronouns congruent with implied sex. Hence, discrimination is estimated against nonbinary and presumed cisgender applicants who disclose pronouns. Results show that disclosing "they/them" pronouns reduces positive employer response by 5.4 percentage points. There is also evidence that discrimination is larger (approximately double) in Republican than Democratic geographies. By comparison, results are inconclusive regarding discrimination against presumed cisgender applicants who disclose pronouns; if discrimination does exist, it is of lower magnitude than discrimination against nonbinary applicants who disclose pronouns.

Keywords: field experiment, correspondence study, resume audit study, discrimination, pronouns, nonbinary people, labour market, labor market

JEL Classification: C93, J15, J16, J23, J71

Suggested Citation

Eames, Taryn, Taryn versus Taryn (she/her) versus Taryn (they/them): A Field Experiment on Pronoun Disclosure and Nonbinary Hiring Discrimination (January 14, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4694653 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4694653

Taryn Eames (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

150 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G7
Canada

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