January 2013

No. 7145: Do Employers Discriminate Less If Vacancies Are Difficult to Fill? Evidence from a Field Experiment

revised version published as 'Is There Less Discrimination in Occupations Where Recruitment Is Difficult?' in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review [Online Access]

We empirically test the relationship between hiring discrimination and labour market tightness at the level of the occupation. To this end, we conduct a correspondence test in the youth labour market. In line with theoretical expectations, we find that, compared to natives, candidates with a foreign sounding name are equally often invited to a job interview if they apply for occupations for which vacancies are difficult to fill, but they have to send twice as many applications for occupations for which labour market tightness is low. Our findings are robust against various sensitivity checks.