Sunday, April 7, 2013

Race at Work: The realities of Race and Criminal Record in NYC Job Market

Here some old news but I don't want to lose track of it, so I am saving it in a blog post.

Devah Pager and Bruce Western did some great work in 2003 using job testers in NYC.  They used identical testers who were different only by race: black, white and Hispanic.   They then added the variable of a criminal record with a felony conviction.

The testers were choosen for similar background, appearance, and verbal skills.  The were all college graduates but representing themselves as high school diploma holders with solid work experience in the field. The testers were also coached to use similar self presentation styles.  They went to 1470 interviews.

The results were indicative of significant racial discrimination in hiring.

23% of whites were offered a job or a call back
19% of Hispanics a similar positive response
and 13% of black got a good response

A summary report from the NYC commission on human rights is here.

The detailed study by Devah Pager is here.

And here is Devah Pager dissertation which has the original research here.


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