Are Robert and Steven more Employable than Vladislav and Alejandro? Evidence from a Field and Survey Experiment
Does nativity status influence hiring in the United States? Does the effect of nativity status vary by race? The bulk of the existing literature seeking to explain immigrants’ disadvantaged employment position compared to U.S.-born workers has focused on the supply-side––the characteristics of immigrants. Existing research focusing on employer behavior tends to conflate race and nativity-status in their analysis. In this talk, Diaz argues that in order to understand the consequences of nativity status in employment, we need to first disentangle the effects of nativity status from the effects of racial discrimination empirically. In doing so, Diaz is able to estimate the independent effect of nativity status in hiring and whether these effects are similar for whites and non-whites (“additive effects”) or more severe for non-whites (“amplified effects”). Adopting a novel approach, Diaz designed and conducted both a randomized audit study in 18 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas and a survey experiment with hiring managers to examine the consequences of nativity status (foreign-born versus U.S.-born) for Hispanic immigrants (Mexican and Salvadoran) and Eastern European immigrants (Ukrainian and Polish). Beyond estimating the effects of nativity status in hiring, Diaz also illuminates the specific pathways that may lead to hiring discrimination against immigrants. Diaz concludes with a discussion about the implications of these findings for theories of immigrant incorporation and literature on employer hiring decisions.