Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 2008:2: Between Meritocracy and Ethnic Discrimination: The Gender Difference

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

Abstract: Using a two stage correspondence test methodology, this study tests employer priors against job-applicants with Arabic names compared to job-applicants with Swedish names. In the first stage, employers are sent CVs of equal observable quality. Thereafter, in the second stage, the CVs with Arabic names are given an advantage of, on average, two more years of relevant work experience. This setup allows us to test the strength of unfavourable priors against job-applicants with Arabic names and to what degree these priors are revised, on average, when resumes are enhanced. Results indicate no significant differences in call-backs for female applicants when CVs with Arabic names are enhanced. The call-back gap for men however remains large and significant despite a positive adjustment of CVs with Arabic names. This implies that negative priors against male job applicants with Arabic names are not revised by an increase in observable merits.

Keywords: Correspondence Testing; Ethnic Discrimination; Biased Testing; Gender

JEL-codes: J15; J16; J71

24 pages, April 18, 2008

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