Tamara Gutfleisch
Hiring discrimination against foreigners in multi-ethnic labour markets: Does recruiter nationality matter? Evidence from a factorial survey experiment in Luxembourg

Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 2022: 77, issue February, (article no. 100672)
ISSN: 0276-5624

A bulk of experimental research has pointed to ethnic hiring discrimination as a key driver of social inequalities in multi-ethnic labour markets. However, the role of recruiter nationality as a possible moderator of ethnic hiring discrimination has been widely neglected. Against this background, this study examines the role of recruiter nationality in hiring discrimination involving foreign applicants. I used data from a recent factorial survey experiment conducted with real recruiters in Luxembourg (N = 677 from 113 recruiters). Respondents rated six experimentally manipulated profiles of fictitious applicants for jobs in different occupational fields. Luxembourg is a relevant case due to its multi-ethnic workforce at various levels of the vertical strata of labour market positions, which allows to test the role of ethnic homophily in hiring decisions. The results suggested that foreign recruiters discriminate less against foreign applicants than native recruiters do. Furthermore, the effect of being a foreign applicant was more negative if the applicant’s nationality matched the recruiter’s nationality. However, none of the observed differences in effects were statistically significant. Elucidating how both native and nonnative recruiters make hiring decisions based on applicants’ nationality contributes to a better understanding of how social inequalities emerge and intensify in multi-ethnic labour markets.