What is it about?

There is consistent evidence of ethnic and racial discrimination of minority applicants in hiring. We systematically summarize the findings of field experiments in a meta-analysis: 738 correspondence tests in 43 separate studies conducted in OECD countries between 1990 and 2015. With a focus on specific minority groups we can ascertain the robustness of the findings. Neither the gender of the fictive applicants nor the economic context seem to make a substantive difference on average. There are differences across countries highlighting that insufficient information about candidates may be a reason for discrimination, but the lack of substantive difference between immigrants on the one hand and the children of immigrants on the other hand also points to pervasive ethnic prejudice.

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Why is it important?

We have had systematic reviews of the literature, but there has been no meta-analysis to further systematize the findings.


There are many benefits to meta-analyses when it comes to systematically summarize existing research, especially experimental research. After over 50 years of field experiments on discrimination in hiring, we felt the time was right to take stock.

Didier Ruedin
Universite de Neuchatel

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions: a meta-analysis of correspondence tests 1990–2015, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, January 2016, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/1369183x.2015.1133279.
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