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Working paper 766
Taryn Eames, "Taryn versus Taryn (she/her) versus Taryn (they/them): A Field Experiment on Pronoun Disclosure and Hiring Discrimination", 2024-01-15
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Abstract: This paper presents the results of the first large-scale correspondence study estimating hiring discrimination against applicants who disclose pronouns. A resume audit design is leveraged, where two fictitious resumes are sent in response to each job posting: in each pair, the treatment resume contains pronouns listed below the name and the control resume does not list any pronouns. Two treatments are considered: nonbinary "they/them" pronouns and binary "he/him" or "she/her" pronouns congruent with the sex implied by the applicant's name. Strong evidence is found that disclosing "they/them" pronouns reduces positive employer response: discrimination estimates are robust to the Heckman-Siegelman critique and magnitude is statistically larger compared to those disclosing "he/him" or "she/her" pronouns. Further, there is suggestive evidence that discrimination is higher in Republican than Democratic geographies. By comparison, there is limited evidence that disclosing "he/him" or "she/her" pronouns results in discrimination.

Keywords: field experiment; correspondence study; resume audit study; discrimination; pronouns; nonbinary people; labour market

JEL Classification: C93; J15; J16; J23; J71

Last updated on July 12, 2012