What is it about?

We analyzed trends in discrimination based on results from 90 field experiments of hiring discrimination encompassing 170,000 job applications. Most of our data is from the last 30 years. We examined discrimination against non-white applicants in Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States. We examine trends in discrimination against four racial-ethnic origin groups: African/Black, Asian, Latin American/Hispanic, and Middle Eastern or North African.

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Why is it important?

On average, we found little change in racial and ethnic hiring discrimination over the last 30 years. We also found stable patterns of discrimination for three of the four continental-origin groups and four of the six countries. Discrimination in hiring against non-white groups remains a critical social justice and economic issue that will not solve itself.


In light of new legislation to combat discrimination, some evidence of changes in attitudes, and increased attention to workforce diversity in large corporations, these results were disappointing. An important public policy issue is how to combat persistent discrimination in hiring.

Lincoln Quillian
Northwestern University

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This page is a summary of: Trends in racial and ethnic discrimination in hiring in six Western countries, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2212875120.
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