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      Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment.

      1 , ,
      American sociological review

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          Abstract

          Decades of racial progress have led some researchers and policymakers to doubt that discrimination remains an important cause of economic inequality. To study contemporary discrimination, we conducted a field experiment in the low-wage labor market of New York City, recruiting white, black, and Latino job applicants who were matched on demographic characteristics and interpersonal skills. These applicants were given equivalent résumés and sent to apply in tandem for hundreds of entry-level jobs. Our results show that black applicants were half as likely as equally qualified whites to receive a callback or job offer. In fact, black and Latino applicants with clean backgrounds fared no better than white applicants just released from prison. Additional qualitative evidence from our applicants' experiences further illustrates the multiple points at which employment trajectories can be deflected by various forms of racial bias. These results point to the subtle yet systematic forms of discrimination that continue to shape employment opportunities for low-wage workers.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Am Sociol Rev
          American sociological review
          0003-1224
          0003-1224
          Oct 1 2009
          : 74
          : 5
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Princeton University.
          Article
          NIHMS222286
          10.1177/000312240907400505
          20689685
          0ef93f83-b6a5-4dae-a9b1-d3ed4b15516f
          History

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