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Title: Gender and Racial Discrimination in Hiring Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from a Field Experiment of Accountants, 2018–2020
In this article, we ask whether macro-level changes during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic relate to changes in the levels of discrimination against women and Black job-seekers at the point of hire. We develop three main hypotheses: that discrimination against women and Black job-seekers increases due to a reduction in labor demand; that discrimination against women decreases due to the reduced supply of women employees and applicants; and that discrimination against Black job-seekers decreases due to increased attention toward racial inequities associated with the Black Lives Matter protests during the summer of 2020. We test these hypotheses using a correspondence audit study collected over two periods, before and during the early COVID-19 pandemic, for one professional occupation: accountants. We find that White women experience a positive change in callbacks during the pandemic, being preferred over White men, and this change is concentrated in geographic areas that experienced relatively larger decreases in women's labor supply. Black women experience discrimination pre-pandemic but receive similar callbacks to White men during the pandemic. In contrast to both White and Black women, discrimination against Black men is persistent before and during the pandemic. Our findings are consistent with the prediction of gender-specific changes in labor supply being associated with gender-specific changes in hiring discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic. More broadly, our study shows how hiring decision-making is related to macro-level labor market processes.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Work and Occupations
Page Range / eLocation ID:
275 to 315
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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