L'auto-sélection dans le comportement de recherche d'emploi

Anett John, Frédéric-Guillaume Schneider

Ethnic minorities are more vulnerable to unemployment than the majority population. The unemployment gap for African immigrants in France is about 6 percentage points. In addition, for those who do have employment, higher commuting times suggest that they have a harder time finding jobs in their own neighbourhood. Many studies have shown that part of the problem is discrimination by potential employers. Audit studies and correspondence studies show that, even controlling for qualification and work experience, minority job seekers are less likely to get the job.

This project argues that discrimination goes beyond this direct bias on the labour demand side. It hypothesizes that discrimination also affects the supply side. By anticipating and/or internalizing majority prejudice, minority jobseekers may exhibit a discouragement effect in the form of lower, and different, activity on the job market than others.

If true, this has far-reaching consequences. On the one hand, it shows that the problem is worse than previously thought, as discrimination turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy; on the other hand, knowledge of this effect can lead to innovative policies to attenuate the detrimental effect of discrimination on minority employment, by directly encouraging minority job seekers to be more proactive. The goal of this project is to provide, thanks to an experimental approach, causal evidence on a possible discouragement effect of minority identity and its underlying mechanisms, and to provide cost-effective policy recommendations for reducing this effect.

Responsables du projet:


Frédéric-Guillaume Schneider, University of Zurich

Ce projet est financé par la chaire Sécurisation des Parcours Professionnels.