Center for European Studies

2021 CefES-JRC Webinar Series


Ethnic Discrimination and Unemployment: Evidence from Online Recruitment



#CefESwebinar2021: by Dominik Hangartner (ETH, Zurich)
Date & Location

Monday 27 September 2021, 5pm (CEST)

Virtual Meeting (Zoom)

Dominik Hangartner presents his latest paper "Ethnic Discrimination and Unemployment: Evidence from Online Recruitment"

This paper analyzes the relationship between discrimination and unemployment  of minority jobseekers. We virtually peer over recruiters shoulders while they make actual hiring decisions by tracking their clicks on the online recruitment platform of the Swiss public employment service. We then match the jobseekers screened by recruiters to their entries in the  Swiss unemployment register. These data allow us to estimate contact penalties for detailed ethnic groups and to relate these penalties to jobseekers' search outcomes. We find that European and non-European jobseekers face lower contact rates than equally qualified "native'' Swiss jobseekers. These differences become more pronounced when recruiters can choose from many (native) candidates. Fewer contacts on the platform  matter because contacts increase job finding rates. Moreover, the estimated discrimination coefficients are highly predictive of differences in unemployment duration between detailed ethnic groups conditional on all other observable characteristics. Estimating the full distribution of employers' discrimination coefficients, we find that almost a third  of recruiters discriminate statistically significantly against non-Europeans.  Together, these results suggest that ethnic discrimination is prevalent among recruiters and prolongs minorities' unemployment, particularly in slack labor markets.


CefES and the European Commission – Joint Research Centre are proud to carry on this initiative with the aim of connecting scholars working on European issues all over the world and to strengthen their cooperation, particularly in this period of high human, social, economic and political distress.