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Discriminatory Practices at South Korean Firms Quantitative Analysis Based on Job Application Forms

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Most Korean employers use discriminatory practices in hiring workers. They enquire about facts not directly related to applicants' skills and qualifications but correlated with their protected statuses, in order to discriminate among them based on these factors. This study uses a unique dataset of companies' application forms, and probability models to investigate the prevalence and economic determinants of such profiling. A sequential process of question profiling is identified, in which some personal questions are asked first and others later, depending on the outcome of the first stage. Profiling is systematically linked to features of job openings and business conditions in which companies operate. At the local market level, composition of labour, labour costs, structure of mandatory and discretionary compensation, and hours worked determine hiring practices. Firm size, industry and location contribute significantly.

Affiliations: 1: Ewha Women's University, South Korea;, Email:


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