Indiscriminate Discrimination: A Correspondence Test for Ethnic Homophily in the Chicago Labor Market

Labour Economics, 19(6), December 2012
Coauthors: Nicolas Jacquemet

Media Coverage: Economist

Numerous field experiments have demonstrated the existence of discrimination in labor markets against specific minority groups. This paper uses a correspondence test to determine whether this discrimination is due to prejudice against specific groups, or a general preference for the majority group. Three groups of identical fabricated resumes are sent to help-wanted advertisements in Chicago newspapers: one with Anglo-Saxon names, one with African-American names, and one with fictitious foreign names whose ethnic origin is unidentifiable to most Americans. Resumes with Anglo-Saxon names generate nearly one third more call-backs than identical resumes with non Anglo-Saxon ones, either African-American or Foreign. We take this as evidence that discriminatory behavior is part of a larger pattern of unequal treatment of any member of non-majority groups, ethnic homophily.