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Racial discrimination and white first name adoption: a field experiment in the Australian labour market

Shyamal Chowdhury (), Evarn Ooi and Robert Slonim

No 2017-15, Working Papers from University of Sydney, School of Economics

Abstract: Minorities such as Chinese households in Australia spend twice as much on a child’s education relative to White families. However, despite such high investment, there is a large Chinese-White wage and employment gap. In this paper we investigate: first, if labour market discrimination is a possible cause of the wage and employment gaps observed between Chinese minorities and Whites. We address this by sending CVs to real job advertisements, and find that there is a large gap against Chinese CVs both in entry level high-skilled jobs and lowskilled administrative assistant jobs. Second, to measure labour market responses to integration signals, we also sent a third category of CVs that explicitly combines a Chinese last name with a White first name. This results in a significant decrease in White-Chinese gaps in interview offer. Third, we aim to learn what inferences are made when employers see these White names adopted by Chinese and potentially by other minorities. Understanding this will help to formulate policies helpful for parental investments and employers’ education to reduce employment and wage gaps observed between minorities and Whites in Australian labour market.

Keywords: racial discrimination; field experiment; labour market (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
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