Race and Ethnic Discrimination in Labor Markets: An International Meta-Analysis

Awarded Scholars:
Lincoln Quillian, Northwestern University
Project Date:
Jul 2015
Award Amount:
Project Programs:

Labor market discrimination contributes to persistent gaps in employment between majority and minority racial and ethnic groups and increases racial inequality. Economic arguments suggest that employment discrimination wastes talent and reduces productivity, by lowering the quality of matches between applicants and jobs. Because racial and ethnic minority groups around the world are primarily composed of immigrants and their children, persistent discrimination in labor markets represents a barrier to their integration into host societies.

Research documents that labor market discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities is present in most countries for which we have reliable data. Yet the extent of discrimination is unclear, with estimates varying widely across countries and studies.

Lincoln Quillian and Larry Hedges, along with a team of American and international experts in labor markets and field experimental research, propose to address these gaps in knowledge through a cross-national meta-analysis of existing field experiments of hiring discrimination, followed by a statistical analysis of national and group factors linked to rates of hiring discrimination. They aim to evaluate these questions: What is the prevalence of discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities in hiring across countries? How do rates of hiring discrimination vary across target groups and economic sectors? And, how are national conditions and policies associated with levels of race and ethnic discrimination in hiring?


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


The Russell Sage Foundation offers grants and positions in our Visiting Scholars program for research.


Join our mailing list for email updates.