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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: Vol. 3 No. 4 (November 2011)

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Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Thirteen Thousand Resumes

Article Citation

Oreopoulos, Philip. 2011. "Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Thirteen Thousand Resumes." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 3(4): 148-71.

DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.4.148

Abstract

Thousands of randomly manipulated resumes were sent in response to online job postings in Toronto to investigate why immigrants, allowed in based on skill, struggle in the labor market. The study finds substantial discrimination across a variety of occupations towards applicants with foreign experience or those with Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, and Greek names compared with English names. Listing language fluency, multinational firm experience, education from highly selective schools, or active extracurricular activities had no diminishing effect. Recruiters justify this behavior based on language skill concerns but fail to fully account for offsetting features when listed. (JEL J15, J24, J61)

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Authors

Oreopoulos, Philip (U Toronto and Canadian Institute for Advanced Research)

JEL Classifications

J15: Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J61: Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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