Employability Act of Discrimination

Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?

Race? What Race ?!?!

To measure racial discrimination in the labour market an experiment was conducted by responding to help-wanted ads in Boston and Chicago newspapers with fictitious resumes. To manipulate the perception of race, each resume is assigned either a very African American sounding name or a very White sounding name.

Now how do I pronounce that?

The results show significant discrimination against African-American names: White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews. We also find that race affects the benefits of a better resume. For White names, a higher quality resume elicits 30 percent more callbacks whereas for African Americans, it elicits a far smaller increase.
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Racial discrimination is still a prominent feature of the labour market.

The amount of discrimination is uniform across occupations and industries. Federal contractors and employers who list Equal Opportunity Employer' in their ad discriminate as much as other employers. We find little evidence that our results are driven by employers inferring something other than race, such as social class, from the names.