Monday, October 3, 2022

"Minority-distinct" name in resumes: Discrimination in some "unexpected" countries aren't that surprising to those who travel, but that runs counter the usual narrative

Do Some Countries Discriminate More than Others? Evidence from 97 Field Experiments of Racial Discrimination in Hiring. Lincoln Quillian, Anthony Heath, Devah Pager, Arnfinn H. Midtbøen, Fenella Fleischmann, Ole Hexel. Sociological Science, June 17, 2019. DOI 10.15195/v6.a18

Abstract: Comparing levels of discrimination across countries can provide a window into large-scale social and political factors often described as the root of discrimination. Because of difficulties in measurement, however, little is established about variation in hiring discrimination across countries. We address this gap through a formal meta-analysis of 97 field experiments of discrimination incorporating more than 200,000 job applications in nine countries in Europe and North America. We find significant discrimination against nonwhite natives in all countries in our analysis; discrimination against white immigrants is present but low. However, discrimination rates vary strongly by country: In high-discrimination countries, white natives receive nearly twice the callbacks of nonwhites; in low-discrimination countries, white natives receive about 25 percent more. France has the highest discrimination rates, followed by Sweden. We find smaller differences among Great Britain, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States, and Germany. These findings challenge several conventional macro-level theories of discrimination.


Alex Tabarrok in Marginal Revolution, Oct 3, 2022:

There have now been lots of resume-audit studies in which identical resumes but for the "minority-distinct" name are sent out to employers and callback rates are measured. A meta-study of 97 field experiments (N = 200,000 job applicants) in 9 countries in Europe and North America finds there is some discrimination in every county but, if anything, the USA has one of the lower rates of discrimination while France and perhaps also Sweden have very high levels. These result's aren't  that surprising to those who travel but they run counter to the narrative that the US is uniquely or especially discriminatory because of its history of slavery and capitalism. Capitalism, in fact, is likely to predict less discrimination.


The authors make a number of interesting points:

...national histories of slavery and colonialism are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for a country to have relatively high levels of labor market discrimination. Some countries with colonial pasts demonstrate high rates of hiring discrimination, but several countries without extensive colonial pasts (outside Europe), such as Sweden, demonstrate similar levels. Likewise, the lower rates of discrimination against minorities in the United States than we find for many European countries seem contrary to expectations that emphasize the primacy of connection to slavery in shaping the contemporary level of national discrimination. These results do not suggest that slavery and colonialism do not matter for levels of discrimination, rather they indicate that they matter in more complex ways than suggested by theories that posit simple, direct influences of the past on current discrimination.


High discrimination in the French labor market seems inconsistent with claims made by some scholars that discourse or measurement of race and ethnicity itself will tend to produce more discrimination by promoting “groupism” and group stereotypes (Sniderman and Hagendoorn 2007). The efforts in France not to measure or formally discuss race or ethnicity do not seem to have led to less discrimination.


Rolf Degen summarizing... Genetic propensity for educational attainment was associated with an increased likelihood of using alcohol as an adolescent

Educational Attainment Polygenic Scores: Examining Evidence for Gene–Environment Interplay with Adolescent Alcohol, Tobacco and Cannabis Use. Christal N. Davis et al. Twin Research and Human Genetics, Oct 3 2022.

Abstract: Genes associated with educational attainment may be related to or interact with adolescent alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use. Potential gene–environment interplay between educational attainment polygenic scores (EA-PGS) and adolescent alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use was evaluated with a series of regression models fitted to data from a sample of 1871 adult Australian twins. All models controlled for age, age2, cohort, sex and genetic ancestry as fixed effects, and a genetic relatedness matrix was included as a random effect. Although there was no evidence that adolescent alcohol, tobacco or cannabis use interacted with EA-PGS to influence educational attainment, there was a significant, positive gene–environment correlation with adolescent alcohol use at all PGS thresholds (ps <.02). Higher EA-PGS were associated with an increased likelihood of using alcohol as an adolescent (ΔR2 ranged from 0.5% to 1.1%). The positive gene–environment correlation suggests a complex relationship between educational attainment and alcohol use that is due to common genetic factors.

No evidence of any political learning on social media in observational studies, and statistically significant but substantively small increases in knowledge in experiments, across social media platforms, types of knowledge, countries, & periods

Do people learn about politics on social media? A meta-analysis of 76 studies. Eran Amsalem, Alon Zoizner. Journal of Communication, jqac034, September 29 2022.

Abstract: Citizens turn increasingly to social media to get their political information. However, it is currently unclear whether using these platforms actually makes them more politically knowledgeable. While some researchers claim that social media play a critical role in the learning of political information within the modern media environment, others posit that the great potential for learning about politics on social media is rarely fulfilled. The current study tests which of these conflicting theoretical claims is supported by the existing empirical literature. A preregistered meta-analysis of 76 studies (N = 442,136) reveals no evidence of any political learning on social media in observational studies, and statistically significant but substantively small increases in knowledge in experiments. These small-to-nonexistent knowledge gains are observed across social media platforms, types of knowledge, countries, and periods. Our findings suggest that the contribution of social media toward a more politically informed citizenry is minimal.