Language skills and homophilous hiring discrimination: Evidence from gender and racially differentiated applications

Abstract : This paper investigates the importance of ethnic homophily in the hiring discrimination process. Our evidence comes from a correspondence test performed in France in which we use three different kinds of ethnic identification: French sounding names, North African sounding names, and "foreign" sounding names with no clear ethnic association. Within the groups of men and women, we show that all non-French applicants are equally discriminated against when compared to French applicants. Moreover, we find direct evidence of ethnic homophily: recruiters with European names are more likely to call back French named applicants. These results show the importance of favoritism for in-group members. To test for the effect of information about applicant's skills, we also add a signal related to language ability in all resumes sent to half the job offers. The design allows to uniquely identify the effect of the language signal by gender. Although the signal inclusion significantly reduces the discrimination against non-French females, it is much weaker for male minorities.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 4:32:08 PM
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Anthony Edo, Nicolas Jacquemet, Constantine Yannelis. Language skills and homophilous hiring discrimination: Evidence from gender and racially differentiated applications. Review of Economics of the Household, Springer Verlag, 2019, 17 (1), pp.349-376. ⟨halshs-02042942⟩

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