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Essays on Discrimination in Hiring
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Management and Economics. (CAFO)
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of four self-contained essays on discrimination in hiring.

Essay I (co-authored with Dan-Olof Rooth) present evidence of ethnic discrimination in the recruitment process by sending fictitious applications to real job openings. Applications with identical skills were randomly assigned Middle Eastern or Swedish-sounding names and applications with a Swedish name receive fifty percent more callbacks for an interview. We extend previous analyses by adding register and interview information on firms/recruiters to the experimental data. We find that male recruiters and workplaces with fewer than twenty employees less often call applications with a Middle Eastern name for an interview.

Essay II extends previous field experiments that study ethnic discrimination in the labour market by comparing discrimination of first and second generation immigrants from the same ethnic group. Qualitatively identical resumes, belonging to first and second generation immigrants from the Middle East, were sent to employers in Sweden that had advertised for labour. The findings suggest, somewhat unexpectedly, that first and second generation immigrants have essentially the same probability of being invited to a job interview, which in turn is significantly lower than the probability of invitation to interview for natives. Accordingly, the factor leading to discrimination in employers responses appears to be ethnicity per se and not an applicant’s country of birth, foreign mother-tongue, and foreign education.

Essay III (co-authored with Dan-Olof Rooth) utilizes the extensive media coverage that occurred when the data collection of essay I and II were only halfway finished. This informed the employers that their hiring practices were being monitored by such situation testing. These unique events and the data from the situation tests are utilized to perform a difference-in-differences analysis of whether discrimination decreased after the media coverage. The results reveal no sign that employers changed their hiring practices after they became aware of the risk of being included in such a situation test. The policy implication of this relates to the fact that EU countries vary in the extent to which they allow situation test results to constitute evidence of ethnic discrimination in court. Our results suggest that the detection risk alone is not sufficient, but must be combined with some penalty to become effective, if authorities wish to use situation testing as a discrimination prevention strategy.

Essay IV studies whether sex discrimination is the cause of sex segregation in the Swedish labor market. The correspondence testing (CT) method was used, which entails two qualitatively identical applications, one with a female name and one with a male name, being sent to employers advertising for labor. The results show that, on average, females have a somewhat higher callback rate to interview in female-dominated occupations, while in male-dominated occupations there is no evidence of any difference. This suggests that the bulk of the sex segregation prevailing in the Swedish labor market cannot be explained by discrimination in hiring. Instead, the explanation is likely to be found on the supply side.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Växjö University Press , 2009.
Series
Acta Wexionensia, ISSN 1404-4307
Keywords [en]
ethnic discrimination, sex discrimination, sex segregation, correspondence testing, situation testing, field experiments, hiring, job search, exit from unemployment
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economy, Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-5864ISBN: 978-91-7636-682-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-5864DiVA, id: diva2:236154
Public defence
2009-11-13, Tegnérsalen, Växjö, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-09-21 Created: 2009-09-21 Last updated: 2017-04-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Evidence of ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labor market using experimental data
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evidence of ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labor market using experimental data
2007 (English)In: Labour Economics, ISSN 0927-5371, E-ISSN 1879-1034, Vol. 14, no 4, p. 716-729Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present evidence of ethnic discrimination in the recruitment process by sending fictitious applications to real job openings. Applications with identical skills were randomly assigned Middle Eastern or Swedish-sounding names and applications with a Swedish name receive fifty percent more callbacks for an interview. We extend previous analyses by adding register and interview information on firms/recruiters to the experimental data. We find that male recruiters and workplaces with fewer than twenty employees less often call applications with a Middle Eastern name for an interview.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2007
Keywords
Ethnic discrimination, Exit from unemployment
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economy, Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-5855 (URN)
Available from: 2009-09-21 Created: 2009-09-21 Last updated: 2017-04-20Bibliographically approved
2. Experimental Evidence of Discrimination in the Hiring of 1st and 2nd Generation Immigrants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experimental Evidence of Discrimination in the Hiring of 1st and 2nd Generation Immigrants
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

Previous field experiments that study ethnic discrimination in the labour market are extended in this paper, which outlines a study comparing discrimination of first and second generation immigrants from the same ethnic group. Qualitatively identical resumes, belonging to first and second generation immigrants from the Middle East, were sent to employers in Sweden that had advertised for labour. The findings suggest, somewhat unexpectedly, that first and second generation immigrants have essentially the same probability of being invited to a job interview, which in turn is significantly lower than the probability of invitation to interview for natives. Accordingly, the factor leading to discrimination in employers responses appears to be ethnicity per se and not an applicant’s country of birth, foreign mother-tongue, and foreign education.

Keywords
ethnic discrimination, hiring, job search, correspondence testing
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economy, Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-5856 (URN)
Available from: 2009-09-21 Created: 2009-09-21 Last updated: 2017-04-20Bibliographically approved
3. The Impact of Being Monitored on Discriminatory Behavior among Employers – Evidence from a Natural Experiment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Impact of Being Monitored on Discriminatory Behavior among Employers – Evidence from a Natural Experiment
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

EU countries vary in the extent to which they allow situation test results to constitute evidence of ethnic discrimination in court. As part of this study, two situation tests were conducted to investigate ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labor market. Extensive media coverage occurred when both tests were only halfway finished. Consequently, employers became aware that their hiring practices were being monitored by such situation testing. These unique events and the data from the situation tests are utilized to perform a difference-in-differences analysis of whether discrimination decreased after the media coverage. The results reveal no sign that employers changed their hiring practices after they became aware of the risk of being included in such a situation test. This suggests that the detection risk alone is not sufficient, but must be combined with some penalty to become effective, if authorities wish to use situation testing as a discrimination prevention strategy.

Keywords
Ethnic discrimination, correspondence testing, situation testing, field experiments
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economy, Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-5857 (URN)
Available from: 2009-09-21 Created: 2009-09-21 Last updated: 2015-01-16Bibliographically approved
4. An Experimental Study of Sex Segregation in the Swedish Labor Market – Is Discrimination the Explanation?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Experimental Study of Sex Segregation in the Swedish Labor Market – Is Discrimination the Explanation?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

This paper studies whether sex discrimination is the cause of sex segregation in the Swedish labor market. The correspondence testing (CT) method was used, which entails two qualitatively identical applications, one with a female name and one with a male name, being sent to employers advertising for labor. The results show that, on average, females have a somewhat higher callback rate to interview in female-dominated occupations, while in male-dominated occupations there is no evidence of any difference. This suggests that the bulk of the sex segregation prevailing in the Swedish labor market cannot be explained by discrimination in hiring. Instead, the explanation is likely to be found on the supply side.

Keywords
Sex discrimination, sex segregation, hiring, job search, correspondence testing
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economy, Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-5858 (URN)
Note
IZA DP No. 3811Available from: 2009-09-21 Created: 2009-09-21 Last updated: 2017-04-20Bibliographically approved

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