Nudging gender equality in hiring and promotion in the labour market?

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2016
End date: 31/12/2018
Funding: 3030000 SEK


Despite decades of policy efforts to increase gender equality in Sweden, there are still persistent gender differences in average wages and a clear glass-ceiling, i.e. a gender gap that increases with higher wages. Most previous research has focused on supply-side factors (that is, differences between men and women in things such as education). This project instead studies the importance of demand side factors for understanding gender inequality in labour market outcomes. The aim is ultimately to guide policy towards a more gender equal labour market with benefits both in terms of increased productivity and a fairer treatment of individuals. More specifically, well-established methods in psychology to measure stigmatizing attitudes (the so called Implicit Association Test and the Item Count Technique) will be used together with new insights from experimental economics to explore the possibility to nudge employers towards more gender equality. The first part of this project will take place in the economics laboratory, and will analyse how varying employers’ hiring and promotion processes (for instance, separate/joint evaluation of each candidate by a single/team of employers) can reduce gender inequality in hiring and promotion of employees. This builds and expands on a growing experimental literature. The second part of the project focuses on studying both intentional and unintentional discrimination in two random samples of employers in small and medium sized Swedish firms. Hopefully this can provide new insights in understanding the combination of alleged lack of gender discrimination in the Swedish labour market and the persisting unexplained differences in outcomes. In the third part of the project we will theoretically study stereotype discrimination using an equilibrium search model. The aim is to analyse if stereotype discrimination in hiring and promotions is profit-maximizing and thus a market equilibrium.

Last updated on 2017-01-08 at 08:36