We signal the refugee status using some version of the following phrase: “I just came from Ukraine”; for refugees, we add one closing sentence similar to “Apologies for possible grammar mistakes, I am translating this message with Google translate, from Ukrainian (or Russian) to Czech.” We signal the permanent resident status with a phrase such as “I am Ukrainian (or Russian) and I am a permanent resident;” for them, there is no closing sentence citing Google translate. To signal the applicant does not have any child we insert a version of the following sentence in the message “My schedule is flexible since I do not have any kids.”
The main signal for whether the applicant is Czech, Ukrainian, Ukrainian-Russian/Russian is represented by combinations of names and surnames. Czech applicants are randomly assigned a combination of typical names and surnames, while non-Czech applicants are assigned a combination of typical names and surnames based on being either Ukrainian or Ukrainian-Russian/Russian. An employer has a 100 percent probability to receive a message from a Czech applicant. The assignment of the non-Czech identity and status is random, so we expect that an employer has approximately a 25 percent probability of receiving a message from a Ukrainian refugee, a Ukrainian-Russian refugee, a Ukrainian permanent resident, and a Russian permanent resident. Please note that these probabilities are approximated; the final distribution may not reflect this distribution due to random sampling. We use five combinations of name and surname per ethnic group; the file "Combination of name and surname by ethnicity" in the section "Docs & Materials" reports them in full, with the consulted sources.
Rather than applying for advertised job vacancies, we “fish for discrimination,” that is, we send short written messages to represent unsolicited job applications for ISCO 8 and 9 jobs; these are jobs that refugees usually apply to. This is a usual practice in Czechia, for basic jobs, based on opinions from Czech human resources experts. These are jobs for which previous experience is not required, a CV is not necessary, only basic education is required, there is no contact with customers, and the employee is not expected to manage coworkers. Based on these characteristics and based on the proximity of Czech to both Ukrainian and Russian languages, one could safely assume that employers’ perceived productivity differences between different fictitious candidates are economically risible. We aware of only one field experiment to study the role of refugees' language on their chances to find a low-skilled job, and this study does not find evidence that language has a statistically significant effect on chances to increases chances of being hired (Ek et al., 2021).
To collect our sample of auditable employers, we proceed in two steps. First, we define the jobs we are going to apply for. Based on statistics from the Ministry of Labor, we select those ISCO 8 and 9 jobs in which female third-country nationals (i.e., neither Czech nor EU citizens) are more frequently employed (i.e., jobs that together represent 75% of the third-country nationals in ISCO 8 and 9). The selection of these jobs strengthens the message's realism and further reduces the probability that employers perceive the lack of knowledge of the Czech language as being a productivity-reducing characteristic. Second, from the national statistical office registry of Czech firms, we select a random sample of firms that typically employ workers in the jobs defined in the first step. Firms' probability of being selected is weighted by the regional population out of the national population. This procedure allows us to make sure that we contact employers from every region and proportionally to the population of that region. Firms' contact emails are obtained from Orbis. From Orbis, we additionally collect detailed information on each contacted employer (e.g., yearly revenue, size).
Additionally, at least with a monthly frequency, we conduct a multi-wave survey of Czech firms. The list of these firms and their emails is provided by a Czech survey consultant company; relying on this repository of firms, insures a high survey response rate. This survey inquires firms about three general topics: (i) knowledge of the “Lex Ukraine” (e.g., the perceived difference compared to the usual third-country work permit), (ii) intention to hire refugees (e.g., general intention to hire, number of refugees the employer expects to hire), (iii) perceived downsides of hiring refugees (e.g., measured by the expected importance of lack of vacancies, language barriers, health issues, expected refugees’ length of stay). The collected information is aggregated at the region-wave level; additional or alternative dimensions could be considered (e.g., ISCO level 2 job depending on the number of observations per job).