November 2008

No. 3811: An Experimental Study of Sex Segregation in the Swedish Labour Market: Is Discrimination the Explanation?

published as 'Does Hiring Discrimination Cause Gender Segregation in the Swedish Labor Market?' in: Feminist Economics, 2011, 17 (3), 71-102

This paper studies whether sex discrimination is the cause of sex segregation in the Swedish labour market. The correspondence testing (CT) method was used, which entails two qualitatively identical applications, one with a female name and one with a male name, being sent to employers advertising for labour. The results show that females have a somewhat higher callback rate to interview in female-dominated occupations, while in male-dominated occupations there is no evidence of any difference. The conclusion is that the sex segregation prevailing in the Swedish labour market cannot be explained by discrimination in hiring. Instead, the explanation must be found on the supply side.