Discrimination and Uncertainty in the Labor Market

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


This project evaluates the importance of uncertainty about a group in employer evaluations of productive capabilities of job applicants from that group, where a group could be defined by observable characteristics such as race, gender, or educational institution. Specifically, I isolate the role of statistical discrimination in the labor market based on both the mean and variance of the group’s performance distribution. To separate these two sources of statistical discrimination, I use a two-sided audit study (Cowgill and Perkowski, 2020) and propose a design that adds increasingly precise signals about particular candidates from different groups.