We ran a survey experiment with Dutch employers to investigate hiring discrimination in sex-typical jobs. We ask if women are especially discriminated against when they have children, whether discrimination applies similarly in different occupations, and whether statistical discrimination or status-characteristic theories best account for discriminatory practices (if any). Employers rate fictitious candidates for either a female-typical job (primary-school teacher) or a male-typical job (software engineer). Employers are found to display a slight preference for female candidates when filling a teacher post, although such bias is less strong for female applicants with children. No such ranking is found for a software engineer vacancy, nor do we find different salary offers across candidates and across vacancies. Employers do not appear to favour men over women for positions likely to be on the career track, as predicted by statistical discrimination theories, nor do they expect women to be less capable than men, as posited by status-characteristic theory. Female candidates with children, however, are expected to be less committed to their job and work fewer hours, especially in the teacher experiment. Such expectations seem to have small consequences for the hiring decisions and salary offers Dutch employers make in our study.

Gender, Hiring, Parenthood, Statistical discrimination, Status-characteristic theory, Survey experiment
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rssm.2019.100464, hdl.handle.net/1765/124439
Research in Social Stratification and Mobility
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Mari, G, & Luijkx, R. (Ruud). (2020). Gender, parenthood, and hiring intentions in sex-typical jobs: Insights from a survey experiment. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. doi:10.1016/j.rssm.2019.100464