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Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment

Black applicants without criminal records are considered to be on the same playing field by employers as white applicants with a criminal record, which is clear evidence of significant racial discrimination in the hiring process. This study of race and criminal record discrimination in the labor market serves as a follow-up to Devah Pager's initial 2003 findings in "The Mark of a Criminal Record." The study sent 'tester' applicants to NYC employers, (Black, Latino and white, with and without criminal records) and also draws from qualitative data on the in-person interactions between the testers and employers.

Pager, D., Bonikowski, B., & Western, B. (2009). Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment. American Sociological Review, 74(5), 777–799.


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