Measuring Discrimination Facing Ethnic Minority Candidates: An Irish Experiment

The role of employer discrimination in labour market matching is often acknowledged but challenging to quantify. What part of the ‘ethnic penalty’ in the labour market is due to recruitment discrimination? This experiment, the first of its kind in Ireland, explicitly measured this by sending out nearly 500 equivalent CVs from Irish and minority candidates in response to advertised vacancies in the greater Dublin area. We find that candidates with Irish names are over twice as likely to be called to interview as are candidates with an African, Asian or German name. This discrimination rate is high by international standards, and does not vary between minority groups. We develop the discussion of the role of prejudice and stereotypes in discrimination in this article, arguing that our findings may be linked to the fact that Ireland is a ‘new immigration’ country, with no established minority groups and a cohesive national identity.

Source: Work, Employment and Society, Vol 25 No 4, December 2011, pp693-708

Author(s):Francis McGinnity and Pete Lunn (ESRI)
Publication Date:31 Dec 2011
Geographic Focus:Ireland
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