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Field Experiments and Job Posting Sources: The Consequences of Job Database Selection for Estimates of Racial Discrimination

Field Experiments and Job Posting Sources: The Consequences of Job Database Selection for... Field experiments have proliferated throughout the social sciences and have become a mainstay for identifying racial discrimination during the hiring process. To date, field experiments of labor market discrimination have generally drawn their sample of job postings from limited sources, often from a single major online job posting website. While providing a large pool of job postings across labor markets, this narrow sampling procedure leaves open questions about the generalizability of the findings from field experiments of racial discrimination in the extant literature. In this paper, we present evidence from a field experiment examining racial discrimination in the hiring process that draws its sample from two sources: (1) a national online job posting website that aligns with previous research, and (2) a job aggregator service that scrapes the web daily in an effort to obtain all online job postings in the United States. While differing in the types of information they collect, we find the job postings drawn from the two sources result in similar estimates of discrimination against Black applicants. In other words, we do not find evidence that racial discrimination varies by the source of the job posting. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for studies of racial discrimination, discrimination along other axes of social difference, as well as field-experimental methods more broadly. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Race and Ethnicity SAGE

Field Experiments and Job Posting Sources: The Consequences of Job Database Selection for Estimates of Racial Discrimination

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2021
ISSN
2332-6492
eISSN
2332-6506
DOI
10.1177/23326492211029336
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Field experiments have proliferated throughout the social sciences and have become a mainstay for identifying racial discrimination during the hiring process. To date, field experiments of labor market discrimination have generally drawn their sample of job postings from limited sources, often from a single major online job posting website. While providing a large pool of job postings across labor markets, this narrow sampling procedure leaves open questions about the generalizability of the findings from field experiments of racial discrimination in the extant literature. In this paper, we present evidence from a field experiment examining racial discrimination in the hiring process that draws its sample from two sources: (1) a national online job posting website that aligns with previous research, and (2) a job aggregator service that scrapes the web daily in an effort to obtain all online job postings in the United States. While differing in the types of information they collect, we find the job postings drawn from the two sources result in similar estimates of discrimination against Black applicants. In other words, we do not find evidence that racial discrimination varies by the source of the job posting. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for studies of racial discrimination, discrimination along other axes of social difference, as well as field-experimental methods more broadly.

Journal

Sociology of Race and EthnicitySAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2022

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