Do Anonymous Job Application Procedures Level the Playing Field?
Despite anti-discrimination legislation and the potential for hefty fines, labor market discrimination remains an issue for ethnic minorities and women, particularly in the recruitment and screening process. The apparent failure of legal and voluntary interventions has created a call for anonymous application procedures (AAP), in which key identifying data is hidden from recruiters in the initial recruiting process. Using unusually rich Swedish data on actual applications and recruitments, the authors show that AAP increased the chances of both women and individuals of non-Western origin of advancing to the interview stage. In addition, results show that women experienced an increased probability of being offered a job under AAP. However, applicants belonging to ethnic minorities were equally disadvantaged in terms of job offers under conventional and anonymous hiring procedures, suggesting that racial and ethnic discrimination may be harder to circumvent than gender discrimination.