Racial Discrimination: Expanded

Continuing on an earlier post, here is the data about the first names used, their prevalence in the specific group (black/white male/female) and the percentage who received calls for interviews in the study:

White-Sounding Black-sounding
Name Frequency Mean Call-back Name Frequency Mean Call-back
Emily 4.7% 8.3% Aisha 3.6% 2.2%
Anne 5.0% 9.0% Keisha 3.7% 3.8%
Jill 4.2% 9.3% Tamika 5.3% 5.4%
Allison 4.7% 9.4% Lakisha 4.1% 5.5%
Sarah 3.9% 9.8% Tanisha 4.2% 6.3%
Meredith 3.9% 10.6% Latoya 4.6% 8.8%
Laurie 4.0% 10.8% Kenya 4.0% 9.1%
Carrie 3.5% 13.1% Latonya 4.7% 9.1%
Kristen 4.4% 13.6% Ebony 4.3% 10.5%
Neil 1.6% 6.6% Rasheed 1.4% 3.0%
Geoffrey 1.2% 6.8% Tremayne 1.4% 4.3%
Brett 1.2% 6.8% Kareem 1.3% 4.7%
Brendan 1.3% 7.7% Darnell 0.9% 4.8%
Greg 1.0% 7.8% Tyrone 1.6% 5.3%
Todd 1.4% 8.7% Jamal 1.2% 6.6%
Matthew 1.4% 9.0% Hakim 1.1% 7.3%
Jay 1.4% 13.2% Leroy 1.3% 9.4%
Brad 1.3% 15.9% Jermaine 1.1% 11.3%

I have a few more excerpts and thoughts on this, but right now I have to go for dinner with a friend.

To be continued.

NOTE: All the tables and quotes belong to Bertrand and Mullainathan and are from their paper “Are Emily and Brendan More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination.” All copyrights belong to the authors or to the publisher of their paper.

Is Racism Alive?

It sure seems like it from this study:

To test whether employers discriminate against black job applicants, Marianne Bertrand of the University of Chicago and Sendhil Mullainathan of M.I.T. conducted an unusual experiment. They selected 1,300 help-wanted ads from newspapers in Boston and Chicago and submitted multiple résumés from phantom job seekers. The researchers randomly assigned the first names on the résumés, choosing from one set that is particularly common among blacks and from another that is common among whites.

Apart from their names, applicants had the same experience, education and skills, so employers had no reason to distinguish among them.

The results are disturbing. Applicants with white-sounding names were 50 percent more likely to be called for interviews than were those with black-sounding names. Interviews were requested for 10.1 percent of applicants with white-sounding names and only 6.7 percent of those with black-sounding names.

In cases like this, I think the 50% difference is a red herring. However, there still is a somewhat large difference of 3.4% between whites and blacks.

UPDATE: As Diane (in the comments) and others in the blogworld have pointed out, the reasons for this apparent discrimination can be due to economic/social class or even a preference for traditional names. I have found the original paper by the Bertrand and Mullainathan online and will report my conclusions when I am done reading it.