Applicant race and job placement decisions: A national survey experiment

Jomills Henry Braddock, Robert L. Crain, James M. McPartland, L. Dawkins Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study examines the effect of job candidates' race on employers' job placement decisions. Analyses are based on data gathered through the randomised vignette technique as part of the Johns Hopkins University Survey of American Employers. The results suggest that, net of controls for educational credentials, recommendations, age, high school quality, employment sector, firm size and region, white personnel officers tend to assign black male high school graduates to lower paying positions than those assigned to white male high school graduates. Similar patterns are observed for black female college graduates. These patterns of apparent bias in job placement are found to be offset to some degree in firms with strong affirmative action policies. The findings are discussed in the context of Thurow's (1975) theory of statistical discrimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-24
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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