DP7913 Does Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence From a Field Experiment

Author(s): Alison L Booth, Andrew Leigh, Elena Varganova
Publication Date: July 2010
Keyword(s): discrimination, employment, field experiments
JEL(s): C93, J71
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7913

We conduct a large-scale audit discrimination study to measure labor market discrimination across different minority groups in Australia -- a country where one quarter of the population was born overseas. To denote ethnicity, we use distinctively Anglo-Saxon, Indigenous, Italian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern names, and our goal is a comparison across multiple ethnic groups rather than focusing on a single minority as in most other studies. In all cases, we applied for entry-level jobs and submitted a CV showing that the candidate had attended high school in Australia. We find economically and statistically significant differences in callback rates, suggesting that ethnic minority candidates would need to apply for more jobs in order to receive the same number of interviews. These differences vary systematically across groups, with Italians (a more established migrant group) suffering less discrimination than Chinese and Middle Easterners (who have typically arrived more recently). We also explore various explanations for our empirical findings.