, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 25-48

Measuring employment discrimination through controlled experiments

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Abstract

Race/ethnic discrimination in hiring can be measured under controlled conditions using matched pairs of minority and nonminority research assistants posing as applicants for the same job. In 149 inperson job applications in the Washington, D.C., labor market, African American applicants were treated less favorab ly than equally qualified nonminorities more than one-fifth of the time. Employer behavior during these interactions suggest that, within continued public and private efforts against discrimination, particular attention should be accorded to the cognitive underpinnings of bias.