Working Paper Series
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy
Blind dates: quasi-experimental evidence on discrimination
() and Jonas Lagerström
Abstract: This paper provides evidence on discrimination in the
hiring process. We use data generated from a “policy experiment” conducted
at the Swedish public employment offices. Individuals registered at these
offices can post their qualifications in a database available to employers
over the Internet. Potential employers are free to search this database for
job candidates and contacts between employers and candidates are recorded.
We use two complementary identification strategies. First, since our data
contain all information available to employers, we argue that selection on
observables is viable. Second, we utilize the fact that individuals can
choose not to reveal their name and gender to potential employers. Our main
finding is that women have a 15 percent lower chance than men of getting
contacted by employers and that this differential is fully explained by
discrimination. Our results concerning ethnic discrimination are less
conclusive, probably due to measurement errors.
Keywords: Blind dates; discrimination; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: J71; (follow links to similar papers)
27 pages, May 17, 2006
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