x

We are happy to announce that all trial registrations will now be issued DOIs (digital object identifiers). For more information, see here.
Discrimination in Hiring and Anonymous CVs in France (CV Anonymes)
Last registered on December 17, 2015

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Discrimination in Hiring and Anonymous CVs in France (CV Anonymes)
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000473
Initial registration date
December 17, 2015
Last updated
December 17, 2015 5:16 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
CREST
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
PSE-École d’économie de Paris
PI Affiliation
CREST
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2009-01-01
End date
2015-07-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We evaluate an experimental program in which the French public employment service anonymized résumés for firms that were hiring. Firms were free to participate or not; participating firms were then randomly assigned to receive either anonymous résumés or name-bearing ones. We find that participating firms become less likely to interview and hire minority candidates when receiving anonymous résumés. We show how these unexpected results can be explained by the self-selection of firms into the program and by the fact that anonymization prevents the attenuation of negative signals when the candidate belongs to a minority.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Barbanchon, Thomas, Luc Behaghel and Bruno Crepon. 2015. "Discrimination in Hiring and Anonymous CVs in France (CV Anonymes)." AEA RCT Registry. December 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.473-1.0.
Former Citation
Barbanchon, Thomas, Luc Behaghel and Bruno Crepon. 2015. "Discrimination in Hiring and Anonymous CVs in France (CV Anonymes)." AEA RCT Registry. December 17. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/473/history/6373.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In collaboration with the French employment agency Pôle Emploi, researchers evaluated whether making resumes anonymous can actually reduce discrimination. Recruiting firms working with Pôle Emploi to find employees were asked to participate in the experiment, and those who agreed were randomly allocated into a treatment and a comparison group. In the treatment group, resumes coming from the employment agency were made anonymous by removing both the candidates name and address. In the comparison group, resumes coming from the employment agency included this information. It is important to note that in both treatment and comparison groups, employers were receiving resumes from other sources than Pôle Emploi.

There were 385 control and 366 treatment firms that participated in the experimental program and went through the randomization. In addition, 254 firms accepted the program but were not randomly assigned to treatment or control; they canceled or filled the job opening before a first pool of résumés was collected and randomization could take place.
Intervention Start Date
2009-11-01
Intervention End Date
2010-09-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
- The impact of anonymous résumés on recruitment outcomes in participating firms.
- Impacts on interview and hiring gaps, and on other outcomes related to the hiring process and match quality.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Researchers collected information on the hiring outcomes of 1,000 job offers that had been randomly assigned to the treatment and comparison group, as well as the job offers that had been made. They also examined hiring practices among employers who refused to take part in the experiment, and some who had not been asked to participate. Recruiters, and a random sample of candidates, were also administered a survey by phone.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Vacancies and their first pool of résumés are together randomly assigned (using a random number generator) to treatment or control group, with probability 1/2.
Randomization Unit
Randomization occurs at the Vacancy Level. For a given vacancy, all résumés sent to recruiters by the PES are treated identically (either anonymous, or standard). This level of randomization ensures that, within the pool of candidates applying through the PES, anonymous résumés do not compete with standard résumés.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Control: 385 firms
Treatment: 366 firms
Sample size: planned number of observations
3,965 applicants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Control: 2,035 applicants
Treatment: 1,930 applicants
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Comité d'éthique J-PAL Europe
IRB Approval Date
2010-03-08
IRB Approval Number
2010-002
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
September 30, 2010, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
751 firms
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
3,965 applicants
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Firms: Treatment 385 Control 366 Responding to surveys: Treatment 229 Control 212 Applicants: Treatment 2035 Control 1930 Sampled to be surveyed: Treatment 1003 Control 954 Responding to survey: Treatment 660 Control 608
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Yes
Program Files
Program Files
Yes
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers
Abstract
We evaluate an experimental program in which the French public
employment service anonymized résumés for firms that were hiring.
Firms were free to participate or not; participating firms were
then randomly assigned to receive either anonymous résumés or
name-bearing ones. We find that participating firms become less
likely to interview and hire minority candidates when receiving
anonymous résumés. We show how these unexpected results can be
explained by the self-selection of firms into the program and by the
fact that anonymization prevents the attenuation of negative signals
when the candidate belongs to a minority.
Citation
Behaghel, Luc, Bruno Crépon, and Thomas Le Barbanchon. 2015. "Unintended Effects of Anonymous Résumés." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 7(3): 1-27.