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The effect of the 2016 United States presidential election on employment discrimination

Authors:
Marina Mileo Gorzig, Saint Catherine University
Deborah Rho, University of St. Thomas
Publication Date:
Oct 2022
Project Programs:
Future of Work

We examine whether employment discrimination increased after the 2016 presidential election in the United States. We submitted fictitious applications to publicly advertised positions using resumes that are manipulated on perceived race and ethnicity (Somali American, African American, and white American). Prior to the 2016 election, employers contacted Somali American applicants slightly less than white applicants but more than African American applicants. After the election, the difference between white and Somali American applicants increased by 8 percentage points. The increased discrimination predominantly occurred in occupations involving interaction with customers. We continued data collection from July 2017 to March 2018 to test for seasonality in discrimination; there was no substantial increase in discrimination after the 2017 local election.

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