Discrimination at the Intersection of Age, Race, and Gender: Evidence from an Eye‐Tracking Experiment

We find striking evidence of race discrimination against prime-age Black job applicants that diminishes into middle age before re-emerging for older applicants

Joanna N. Lahey; Douglas R. Oxley

2021

Scholarcy highlights

  • This paper uses a laboratory experiment with eye-tracking and about 6,000 unique randomized resumes to explore the effects of race on employment discrimination over the life cycle for experienced applicants in their mid 30s to 70s
  • We find striking evidence of race discrimination against prime-age Black job applicants that diminishes into middle age before re-emerging for older applicants
  • We find evidence of levels-based statistical discrimination, suggesting that screeners believe younger Black applicants to have worse computer skills and more gaps in their job histories
  • We find evidence for variance-based statistical discrimination against Black applicants of all ages, suggesting that screeners perceive the job history signal to be stronger for White applicants than for Black, disproportionately affecting older Black applicants
  • Results are robust to a number of different controls and specification choices

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