Nativity, Labor Market Dynamics, and Hiring Discrimination: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Last registered on May 13, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Nativity, Labor Market Dynamics, and Hiring Discrimination: Evidence from a Field Experiment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005848
Initial registration date
May 13, 2020
Last updated
May 13, 2020, 3:36 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Tufts University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2019-02-01
End date
2019-10-15
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study examines whether employers use nativity status (foreign-born vs native-born) when making hiring decisions. I designed and carried out a national audit study across 18 U.S. Metropolitan Areas in low-skill and high-skilled occupations. The nativity status, race, and gender were randomly assigned to four matched resumes. Results from the field experiment provide the first causal estimates of hiring discrimination on the basis of nativity in the United States.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Dias, Felipe. 2020. "Nativity, Labor Market Dynamics, and Hiring Discrimination: Evidence from a Field Experiment." AEA RCT Registry. May 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5848-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The key intervention of the study is to provide the first causal estimates of nativity-based discrimination in the labor market in the United States. Scholars have contradicting explanations for the economic gap between semi-skilled US-born workers and foreign-born workers. From one perspective, foreign-born workers without advanced college degrees lack the human capital skills to be competitive in the labor market. Other perspectives point to employer discrimination as a factor linking poor employment outcomes among foreign-born workers compared to US-born workers. By matching the fictitious job applicants on human capital characteristics and randomly assigning the nativity-status, this study allows us to estimate the direct effects (if any) of hiring discrimination.
Intervention Start Date
2019-02-01
Intervention End Date
2019-10-15

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
There are two main outcomes associated with the field experiment. First, I found that native-born applicants were about 4.0 percentage-points more likely to receive a callback from employers compared to foreign-born workers. Second, I found that, contrary to existing accounts, the native-born vs foreign-born gap in callbacks was larger for Eastern European immigrants than for Hispanic immigrants.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The outcomes will be constructed in terms of "nativity penalty" in the labor market.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
not applicable
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
not applicable

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The nativity status (native-born vs foreign-born), gender (male vs female), and race (Hispanic vs White) were randomly assigned to fictitious resumes and sent to job openings in 18 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
Experimental Design Details
The nativity status (native-born vs foreign-born), gender (male vs female), and race (Hispanic vs White) were randomly assigned to fictitious resumes and sent to job openings in 18 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
Randomization Method
The randomization method was done in Stata.
Randomization Unit
The randomization unit were firms who posted job openings online.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
There were a total of 1,504 clusters (firms).
Sample size: planned number of observations
6,014 resumes were sent to 1,504 job openings.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
3,007 native-born applicants
3,007 foreign-born applicants
3,007 Hispanic applicants
3,007 White applicants
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
beta=0.002 (Linear Probability Model), sd (0.004), 18% vs 14%.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Tufts University
IRB Approval Date
2019-01-22
IRB Approval Number
1901011

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials