Discrimination and Racism in Cross-National Perspective
Panel organised at the 17th IMISCOE Annual Conference Luxembourg
30 June – 2 July 2020
Organizers: Patrick Simon (INED), Didier Ruedin (University of Neuchâtel)
For a long time racism has been studied without references to discrimination and was mainly conceived as a specific expression of prejudice. The turn to more subtle and systemic forms of racism has paved the way to the development of studies in terms of ethnic and racial discrimination. This researche on discrimination against immigrants and their descendants in Europe has grown significantly in the last twenty years, paralleling the settlement of immigrant populations. They document differential treatment and discrimination in different markets (e.g. labour market, housing) and social spheres regulated by principles of equality (e.g. school, health service, police). Patterns of discrimination are embedded in institutional contexts and a larger societal environment, characterised not only by economic uncertainties and increasing political polarisation in public debate around immigrant related issues, but also by increasing diversity and opportunities of contact. Such changes in the context are likely to affect attitudes and ideology diffusion in majority and minority members. However, studies about discrimination do not refer specifically to racism, and the methodological gains in measuring discrimination did not transfer directly to the measurement of racism. How far racism and ethnic and racial discrimination are distinct, and how they relate to each other are key issues we would like to explore in this panel.
This workshop will bring together researchers on discrimination and racism, tackling these issues from various disciplines, theoretical backgrounds and methods. We welcome empirical studies of discrimination patterns across a large variety of domains, theoretical perspectives on how the prevalence of ethnic discrimination and racism should be explained and conceptualised, and studies on the consequences of anti-discrimination policies and legislation, in historical perspective as well as in contemporary contexts. We also welcome papers which use and discuss theories about cross-country differences, ethnic hierarchies, and evolution over time, including studies which compare the historical experiences of discrimination and racism among early European immigrants in the US with more recent immigrant groups on both sides of the Atlantic.
Submit your abstract specifying the research question, data, methods and findings (200 words maximum) at http://neuchatel.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0B2Oxgv352FCI9n no later than 25 November 2019. For further information get in touch with Didier Ruedin (email@example.com). The notification of acceptance will be made by 30 November 2019.
IMISCOE Annual Conference 30 June – 1 July 2020, Luxembourg
Highly skilled migration is a major phenomenon in a globalized world with important implications for source and destination countries. In the past, most studies have focused on the so-called brain drain (i.e. human capital emigration from developing countries). Here we seek contributions on the phenomenon of brain waste: the underutilization of migrant education and skills in the host country. Such a labour market mismatch is often referred to as over-education, horizontal mismatch between employment and field of education, or simply skills mismatch. Consider the example of a migrant scientist who works as a taxi driver.
We are seeking innovative quantitative papers that examine the (different) reasons and consequences of educational or skills mismatch, either vertical or horizontal, including contributions to better measurement. Possible research questions are the propensity of immigrants to become self-employed as a result of mismatch, their propensity to (re-) migrate due to mismatch, or their likelihood to send remittances, or the eventual consequence of hosting mismatched immigrants for the host labour market. We particularly welcome papers that fully account for the gender dimension of brain waste.
Papers addressing counterfactuals will be specially welcome: the mismatch a migrant would have experienced – if any – if he or she stayed in the country of origin (the migrant scientist working as a taxi driver may not have found adequate employment in the country of origin).
Conference: IMISCOE Annual Conference, 30 June — 1 July 2020, Luxembourg; see http://www.imiscoe.org/ for further information. Conference fee: €200.
Please submit your abstract online (max 200 words) at http://neuchatel.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2iCUqolNCtNiNSt. Deadline: 24 November 2019.
Research group: https://sites.google.com/site/imiscoebrainwaste/
Call as PDF: IMISCOE Brain Waste 2020
Correspondence tests are a useful field experiement to measure discrimination in the formal labour market. These correspondence tests are also known as CV experiements: Researchers send two equivalent applications to an employer, differening only in the quantity of interest — gender and ethnicity are common. If only the majority or male candidate is invited for a job interview, we probably have a case of discrimination. Once we aggreate across many employers, we’re pretty confident to have captured discrimination.
Most studies stop there, declining any offer to reduce the burden on employers. The hiring process, however, does not end there. Lincoln Quillian and his team have now compiled a list of studies that went further. They find that the first stage of screening is far from the end of discrimination, and the job interview can increase overall discrimination substantially. Correspondece tests focusing on the first stage will capture only some of the discrimination. Interestingly the discrimination at the job interview stage appears unrelated to discrimination at the first screening of applications.
Quillian, L., Lee, J., & Oliver, M. (2018). Meta-Analysis of Field Experiments Shows Significantly More Racial Discrimination in Job Offers than in Callbacks. Northwestern Workin Paper Series, 18(28). Retrieved from https://www.ipr.northwestern.edu/publications/papers/2018/wp-18-28.html
Zschirnt, E., & Ruedin, D. (2016). Ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions: A meta-analysis of correspondence tests 1990–2015. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42(7), 1115–1134. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2015.1133279
Image: CC-by Richard Eriksson.
Sometimes we can learn amazing things at conferences… like what this respondent concluded:
Please avoid at any cost being a women over 40 years of age.
I guess it’s not always researchers and press offices that provide the spin.
Our study on the discrimination of people with foreign-sounding names in housing market in Switzerland has been picked up by the press. The sunday tabloid SonntagsBlick run the story with many details. I was happy to see that the news report, as well as the press coverage that followed in other newspapers, was quite accurate.
I even ventured into the online comments, just curious to see what the self-select group of commenters had to say. A few offered their own experience of what we describe in the report: flats not being available when a person with a foreign name phones up, but still available when a person with a ‘native’ name phones up. Quite a few defended the right to discriminate and offered their own experience as landlords, hearsay, and stereotypes as justifications for what we would call statistical discrimination. (This kind of ‘evidence’ is also quite ‘funny’ in the sense that whether you had a good or bad experience with tenants from XYZ, there’s another commentator with the opposite experience.) I find this quite interesting, and we had similar reactions in a study on hiring discrimination: A substantial part of the population does not seem to understand that statistical discrimination is also discrimination. Quite interesting is that none of the comments I have seen picked up on the difference between having a ‘foreign-sounding’ name, and being a foreign citizen — the perception as ethnic groups. Our results hold irrespective of citizenship, so we show that some Swiss citizens are discriminated (too) because of their name.
Press coverage: SonntagsBlick, Tages-Anzeiger, Bluewin, Basler Zeitung, Nau.ch, 20 Minuten, Mieterverband
Auer, Daniel, Julie Lacroix, Didier Ruedin, and Eva Zschirnt. 2019. ‘Ethnische Diskriminierung auf dem Schweizer Wohnungsmarkt’. Grenchen: BWO.
Image: cc-by turkeychik