Effects of the 2016 Election on Employment Discrimination

Awarded Scholars:
Marina M. Gorsuch, St. Catherine University
Deborah Rho, University of St. Thomas
Project Date:
Sep 2017
Award Amount:
$7,898

The 2016 presidential election and its aftermath saw heightened tensions surrounding race and immigration. In the months prior to the election, Minnesota experienced bias crimes against Somali Americans as well as crimes committed by Somali Americans tied to terrorist groups. After the election, there was a rise in hate crimes across the country.  Economists Marina Gorsuch and Deborah Rho will examine the extent to which employer discrimination against Muslim refugees increased after the election. In previous work, they tested employers’ response to Somali American, African American, and white American job applicants in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area before and after the 2016 Presidential election and found that employers contacted Somali American applicants 10 percentage points less often than white applicants after the election compared to before the election. The investigators will continue data collection from September 2017 to February 2018 to establish the extent to which the increased discrimination observed in November 2016 was due to the election itself, or the extent to which it was driven by a seasonal change in discrimination that happens annually.

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