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Employment discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a field experiment

Patrick Button () and Brigham Walker

Labour Economics, 2020, vol. 65, issue C

Abstract: We conducted an audit study - a resume correspondence experiment - to measure discrimination in hiring faced by Indigenous Peoples in the United States (Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians). We sent employers 13,516 realistic resumes of Indigenous or white applications for common jobs in 11 cities. We signalled Indigenous status in one of four different ways. Interview offer rates do not differ by race, which holds after an extensive battery of robustness checks. We discuss multiple concerns such as the saliency of signals, selection of cities and occupations, and labour market tightness that could affect the results of our audit study and those of others. We also conduct decompositions of wages, unemployment rates, unemployment durations, and employment durations to explore whether discrimination might exist in contexts outside our experiment. We conclude by highlighting the essential tests and considerations that are important for future audit studies, regardless of whether they find discrimination or not.

Keywords: Indigenous peoples; Employment discrimination; Native American; Alaska native; Native Hawaiian; Indian reservations; Audit study; Resume experiment; Gelbach decomposition; Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 J15 J7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Employment Discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a Field Experiment (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Employment Discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a Field Experiment (2019) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:labeco:v:65:y:2020:i:c:s0927537120300555

DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2020.101851

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