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Employment Discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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Abstract

We conducted an audit study-a resume correspondence experiment-to measure discrimination in hiring faced by Indigenous Peoples in the United States (Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians). We sent employers 13,516 realistic resumes of Indigenous or white applications for common jobs in 11 cities. We signalled Indigenous status in one of four different ways. Interview offer rates do not differ by race, which holds after an extensive battery of robustness checks. We discuss multiple concerns such as the saliency of signals, selection of cities and occupations, and labour market tightness that could affect the results of our audit study and those of others. We also conduct decompositions of wages, unemployment rates, unemployment durations, and employment durations to explore if discrimination might exist in contexts outside our experiment. We conclude by highlighting the essential tests and considerations that are important for future audit studies, regardless of if they find discrimination or not. JEL Codes: J15, J7, C93

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