Testing for Employment Discrimination


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Testing for Employment Discrimination

  1. 1. Behavioral Science Perspectives on Discrimination and Their Implications for Testing Conference on Field Experiments of Discrimination in Markets Prato, Italy July 2005 Ana P. Nunes San Francisco State University [email_address] Marc Bendick, Jr. Bendick and Egan Economic Consultants, Inc. [email_address] www.bendickegan.com
  2. 2. The Theory of Modern Racism <ul><li>Aversive Racism Model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Historically racist culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining egalitarian self-image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often nonconscious response </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Circumstance specific </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plausible nonracial justification for behavior may result in prejudiced response </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Gaertner & Dovidio, 1986 </li></ul><ul><li>Bielby, 2000 Jones, 1997 </li></ul><ul><li>Pager, 2003 </li></ul>
  3. 3. Using Testing to Explore Stereotypical Thinking <ul><li>Testing around soft-skills </li></ul><ul><li>Psycholinguistic analysis of transcripts </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies for overcoming stereotypes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-- age tests Bendick, Jackson & Romero, 1996 </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Viewing Discrimination Incidents in their Holistic Context <ul><li>Psychological significance depends on victim’s personality, circumstances, and history </li></ul><ul><li>Employment significance depends on how the job relates to careers </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational significance depends on consistency of incidents with corporate culture </li></ul>
  5. 5. Shaping Testing Studies to Reflect a Holistic Perspective <ul><li>“ Day in the life” testing of an individual’s daily transactions to document “two separate worlds” - Fix and Turner, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Testing employment decisions where career paths diverge — career paths, job segregation </li></ul><ul><li>Combine testing data with other company data to illuminate corporate culture </li></ul>
  6. 6. First and Second Generation Testing <ul><li>First Generation </li></ul><ul><li>Ad-Hoc Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively simple sample design </li></ul><ul><li>Straightforward definition of outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively cheap per observation </li></ul><ul><li>Maps out discrimination in the labor market </li></ul><ul><li>Provides appealing, understandable stories </li></ul><ul><li>Second Generation </li></ul><ul><li>Theory-Driven Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Drawbacks </li></ul><ul><li>More complex to design and interpret </li></ul><ul><li>More expensive per observation </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Closer to complexity of actual discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Insights into behavioral processes </li></ul>
  7. 7. For Further Information <ul><li>Bendick, Marc, Jr. “Using Paired Comparison Testing to Develop a Social Psychology of Civil Rights.,” Presentation to the Annual Conference of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Problems, June 2004 . * </li></ul><ul><li>Bendick, Marc, Jr., and Egan, Mary Lou. “Changing Workplace Cultures to Reduce Employment Discrimination.” Presentation to the Conference on Low Wage Workers in the New Economy, Washington, DC May 2000. * </li></ul><ul><li>Bendick, Marc, Jr., Jackson, Charles, and Romero, J. Horacio. &quot;Employment Discrimination Against Older Workers: An Experimental Study of Hiring Practices.&quot; Journal of Aging and Social Policy 8 (4, 1996), pp. 25- 46. * </li></ul><ul><li>Bielby, William. “Minimizing Workplace Gender and Racial Bias,” Contemporary Sociology 29 (2000), pp. 120-129. </li></ul><ul><li>Fix, Michael, and Turner, Margery Austin (eds), A National Report Card on Discrimination in America: The Role of Testing . Washington: The Urban Institute, 1999. </li></ul><ul><li>Gaertner, S.L., & Dovidio, J.F. (1986). The aversive form of racism. In J.F. Dovidio & S.L. Gaertner (Eds.), Prejudice, discrimination, and racism (pp. 61-89). San Diego, CA : Academic Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Jones, James M. Prejudice and Racism . New York: McGraw Hill, second edition 1997. </li></ul><ul><li>Pager, D. (2003). The Mark of a Criminal Record. America Journal of Sociology, 108(5), 937-975. </li></ul><ul><li>*available under Publications at www.bendickegan.com </li></ul>