Characteristics, causes, and consequences of ethnic discrimination in online recruiting
We track recruiters’ search behavior on an online recruitment platform to estimate ethnic penalties for detailed ethnic and occupational groups. We link jobseekers to their entries in the Swiss unemployment register to observe skills unobserved by recruiters and document downstream effects on leaving unemployment. Based on 3.4 million decisions, we estimate large differences in ethnic penalties between groups of immigrants. Many marginalized groups face sizeable discrimination even if they are proficient of the local language and are culturally well integrated. The differences in penalties are difficult to explain with statistical discrimination since the penalties are largely unrelated to observed and unobserved skills. Furthermore, we find limited evidence for attention discrimination. Lastly, we provide several pieces of evidence that suggest that discrimination on the online recruitment platform indeed prolongs unemployment.