Discrimination in hiring based on potential and realized fertility: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment

Becker, Sascha. O.; Fernandes, Ana; Weichselbaumer, Doris (2019). Discrimination in hiring based on potential and realized fertility: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment Labour Economics, 59, pp. 139-152. Elsevier https://doi.org/10.1016/j.labeco.2019.04.009

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Due to conventional gender norms, women are more likely to be in charge of childcare than men. From an employer's perspective, in their fertile age they are also at “risk” of pregnancy. Both factors potentially affect hiring practices of firms. We conduct a large-scale correspondence test in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, sending out approx. 9000 job applications, varying job candidate's personal characteristics such as marital status and age of children. We find evidence that, for part-time jobs, married women with older kids, who likely finished their childbearing cycle and have more projectable childcare chores than women with very young kids, are at a significant advantage vis-à-vis other groups of women. At the same time, married, but childless applicants, who have a higher likelihood to become pregnant, are at a disadvantage compared to single, but childless applicants to part-time jobs. Such effects are not present for full-time jobs presumably because, by applying to these in contrast to part-time jobs, women signal that they have arranged for external childcare.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

Business > Institute for New Work

Name:

Becker, Sascha. O.;
Fernandes, Ana and
Weichselbaumer, Doris

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Ana Fernandes

Date Deposited:

01 Oct 2020 14:51

Last Modified:

01 Oct 2020 14:51

Publisher DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.labeco.2019.04.009

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Fertility Discrimination Experimental economics

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.12320

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/12320

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