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The multiple burdens of foreign-named men - testing ethnic discrimination in the hiring process
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

For the past couple of decades, scholars have repeatedly documented persistent ethnic inequality in the Swedish labor market. Still, the conception that ethnic discrimination is part of the problem of ethnic inequality remains contested, in academia as well as public debate. Drawing on the results of a field experiment (correspondence test), this paper provides evidence of extensive ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labor market. Pairs of equally merited applications, one with a Swedish name and one with an Arabic or African name, were sent in response to job openings. Discrimination was measured by documenting the existence of an ethnic difference in call-backs. The experiment showed not only that there was discrimination in all the targeted occupations, but also that there were large differences in discrimination rates between the occupations. The findings also indicate that employers in male occupations practice sex compensation favoring female-named applicants while employers in female occupations practice both ethnic and sex compensation, favoring foreign-named men in particular.

Keyword [en]
Ethnicity, Discrimination, Employment gaps, Field experiments, Gender, Sex segregation, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-81485OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-81485DiVA: diva2:561943
Available from: 2012-10-22 Created: 2012-10-22 Last updated: 2012-10-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Ethnic Discrimination, Name Change and Labor Market Inequality: Mixed approaches to ethnic exclusion in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ethnic Discrimination, Name Change and Labor Market Inequality: Mixed approaches to ethnic exclusion in Sweden
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of four empirical studies on ethnic integration in the Swedish labor market. Studies I-III draw on a field experiment testing ethnic discrimination in the hiring process.

Study I documents the existence of employer discrimination in response to equally merited applications with Arabic/African or Swedish names, and shows that foreign-named applicants have to send twice as many applications to receive a callback compared to Swedish-named applicants. Results also suggest that employers in female-dense occupations practice ethnic and gender compensation while employers in male-dense occupations practice only gender compensation.

Study II reveals gendered differences in the intensity of employer stereotypes by testing how much more work experience is needed to eliminate the disadvantage of having an Arabic name on a job application. Results indicate a reverse gender gap, as initial differences in call-backs disappear for female applicants when CVs for Arabic-named applications are enhanced but remain strong and significant for male applicants.

Study III evaluates criticism directed at residual analysis and field experiments that claims that they tell us nothing about real world discrimination and its long-term effects. By combining experimental and register data, Study III responds to this criticism by showing that the results of Study I correspond closely with real world labor market inequality of identical ‘twins’ (identified through propensity score matching) to the fictive individuals of Study I.

Study IV explores the strategies underlying surname change from a Middle Eastern name to a more Swedish sounding one, drawing on 45 interviews with surname changers with a Middle Eastern background. The results indicate that immigrant name change is a pragmatic assimilation strategy. The study also illustrates how the institutional enabling of name change both creates and enables pragmatic assimilation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2012. 47 p.
Series
Stockholm studies in sociology, ISSN 0491-0885 ; N.S., 54
Keyword
ethnicity, ethnic discrimination, employment gaps, field experiment, correspondence test, gender, sex segregation, name change, stigma, pragmatic assimilation, mixed methods, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79041 (URN)978-91-87235-08-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-11-30, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Submitted. Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2012-11-08 Created: 2012-08-24 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved

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