Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 2016:20: Stereotypes of physical appearance and labor market chances

Mahmood Arai (), Marie Gartell (), Magnus Rödin () and Gülay Özcan ()
Additional contact information
Mahmood Arai: Stockholm University, Postal: Stockholm, Sweden
Marie Gartell: Swedish public employment services (Arbetsförmedlingen), Postal: Stockholm, Sweden
Magnus Rödin: Swedish public employment services (Arbetsförmedlingen), Postal: Stockholm,Sweden
Gülay Özcan: Swedish public employment services (Arbetsförmedlingen), Postal: Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Using an experimental setup involving 436 case workers at the Swedish Public Employment Service (SPES) as subjects and the profile photographs and recorded voices of 75 jobseekers as treatments, we report results indicating that male case workers tend to favor jobseekers perceived as having a stereotypical Swedish appearance when they select candidates to be recommended for labor market programs (LMP). This bias represents a roughly 50-percent greater chance of being selected if you compare the candidate with the highest score with regard to stereotypical Swedish looks (8/10) with the candidate with the lowest score (3/10) in our sample.

Keywords: discrimination; ethnic discrimination; racial discrimination; stereotypes; noncognitive attributes

JEL-codes: J15; J70

30 pages, November 22, 2016

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wp2016-20-stereotype...r-market-chances.pdf PDF-file 

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