February 2016

IZA DP No. 9763: Immigrant Volunteering: A Way Out of Labour Market Discrimination?

published in: Economics Letters, 2016, 146, 95-98 [Online Access]

Many governments encourage migrants to participate in volunteer activities as a stepping stone to labour market integration. In the present study, we investigate whether this prosocial engagement lowers the hiring discrimination against them. To this end, we use unique data from a field experiment in which fictitious job applications are sent in response to real vacancies in Belgium. Ethnic origin and volunteer activities are randomly assigned to these applications. While non-volunteering native candidates receive more than twice as many job interview invitations as non-volunteering migrants, no unequal treatment is found between natives and migrants when they reveal volunteer activities.