Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SULCIS Working Papers,
Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS

No 2007:7: What's in a name? A field experiment test for the existence of ethnic discrimination in the hiring process

Moa Bursell ()
Additional contact information
Moa Bursell: Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS, Postal: Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper provides evidence of extensive ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labour market. A field experiment (correspondence test) that tests employer discrimination has been performed. Pairs of equally merited applications has been sent to job openings, one with a Swedish sounding name and one with a foreign sounding name. Discrimination is measured by documenting the existence of an ethnic difference in call-backs. The results indicate that there is discrimination in all of the occupations that were tested in the experiment, but that the extent of the ethnic discrimination differs between the occupations. An attempt is also made to explain the results applying the theories of statistical discrimination and social distance.

Keywords: ethnic discrimination in the labour market; statistical discrimination; social distance; field experiment; correspondence test

JEL-codes: J15; J71

27 pages, November 27, 2007

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