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Discrimination against Workers with Visible Tattoos: Experimental Evidence from Germany

Daviti Jibuti

CERGE-EI Working Papers from The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague

Abstract: We use a correspondence testing approach to study discrimination against applicants with visible tattoos in the German labor market. The method has been widely employed in discrimination literature; however, the majority of papers examine objects of discrimination that are exogenously given (gender, race, ethnicity, etc.). The design of our experiment allows us to study the extent of discrimination against choice-based characteristics. We send fictitious applications to online job postings in the banking sector. Otherwise identical applications differ only in the picture attached: in the treatment group the applicants have a visible tattoo. The extent of discrimination is measured by the difference in callback rates. We find that candidates without visible tattoos have, on average, a 13 percentage point higher callback rate, or an increase in the callback rate of 54%. Following Akerlof and Kranton (2000), our results once more highlight the centrality of identity.

Keywords: labor market discrimination; field experiment; visible tattoo (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 J71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-lma
Date: 2018-10
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