Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2007:19: Detecting discrimination in the hiring process: evidence from an Internet-based search channel

Stefan Eriksson () and Jonas Lagerström ()
Additional contact information
Stefan Eriksson: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Jonas Lagerström: IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: This paper uses data from an Internet-based CV database to investigate how factors which may be used as a basis for discrimination, such as the searchers’ ethnicity, gender, age and employment status, affect the number of contacts they receive from firms. Since we have access to essentially the same information as the firms, we can handle the problems associated with unobserved heterogeneity better than most existing studies of discrimination. We find that, even when we control for all other differences, searchers who have non-Nordic names, are old or unemployed receive significantly fewer contacts. Moreover, we find that this matters for the hiring outcome: Searchers who receive more contacts have a higher probability of actually getting hired.

Keywords: Job search; Unobserved heterogeneity; Discrimination

JEL-codes: J64; J71

37 pages, August 25, 2007

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