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An Examination of Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Estimates from the Field

John Nunley (), Adam Pugh, Nicholas Romero and Richard Seals ()

No auwp2014-06, Auburn Economics Working Paper Series from Department of Economics, Auburn University

Abstract: We present experimental evidence from a correspondence test of racial discrimination in the labor market for recent college graduates. Online job advertisements were answered with over 9,000 résumé s from fictitious, recently-graduated job seekers. We find strong evidence of differential treatment by race: black applicants receive approximately 14 percent fewer interview requests than their otherwise identical white counterparts. The racial gap in employment opportunities increases as perceived productivity characteristics are added, which is difficult to reconcile with models of statistical discrimination. We investigate different channels through which the observed racial differences might occur and conclude that taste-based discrimination at the race-skill level is the most likely explanation. The racial differences identified operate primarily through customer-level discrimination.

Keywords: Racial Discrimination; Employment; Productivity; Field Experiments; Correspondence Studies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J23 J24 J71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-ger, nep-lab, nep-lma and nep-pke
Date: 2014-04
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