Moa Bursell: Employment Discrimination Based on Gender and Ethnicity - An Experimental Study

Datum: 13 mars 2024
Tid: 10:00-11:45

Venue: Institutet för framtidsstudier, Holländargatan 13, 4th floor, Stockholm, or online.

Research seminar with Moa Bursell, Associate Professor of Sociology and research leader at the Institute for Futures Studies.

Register here


The study contributes to knowledge about the process behind gender segregation in the labor market. Segregation may be seen as generated by the combined outcome of decisions located at the supply side and the demand side of the employer-employee match. Previous research has almost exclusively focused the supply side, because this is where data have been easily accessible. Consequently, we do not know much about whether or how employer hiring decisions affect gender segregation.

Discrimination research usually focuses on one dimension in isolation, although theoretically there is a relatively obvious intersection between gender and ethnicity that is relevant in this context. Our specific focus in this study is therefore to analyze how existing structural gender segregation combined with employer discrimination based on gender and ethnicity gives rise to processes that reinforce gender segregation in the labor market.

In order to estimate the impact of employer discrimination on gender segregation, we use experimental correspondence audit data. Correspondence audits consist in constructing applications for fictitious individuals and use these to apply for real jobs in the labor market, and then observe the employer responses to these job applications.

The results strongly suggest that gender and ethnicity should be analyzed in combination to get the full picture of how employers' discrimination contributes to gender segregation in the labor market.

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