Project leader




Funding source

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

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2019
End date: 31/12/2020


The aim of this project is to investigate the circumstances leading employers to discriminate by gender and parenthood, contributing to the broader aim at increasing our understanding about the mechanisms underlying gender inequality in the labor market. Previous Swedish studies show that employers are about equally likely to hire men and women. These results refer, however, to data based on aggregates of branches, occupations and sectors, and a problem with this is the typically low statistical power when results are broken down by segments. Studies showing no employer discrimination at the aggregate level may thus hide discrimination in certain segments.
There are strong theoretical reasons to expect discrimination to vary depending on context, and we will explore underlying mechanisms by relating variation in employer discrimination to variation in labor demand, demographic composition, qualification level, and organizational formalization. We employ a large-scale experimental correspondence test design, and send non-authentic applications – with gender and parenthood randomly assigned – to announced job openings in the labor market. We pool three data sets, including information on a total of 7,000 job applications in 20 occupations.
The results of the project are highly relevant to knowledge on potential discrimination by gender and parenthood, mechanisms behind gender differences in employment and careers, and mechanisms behind differences in employment and careers between mothers and fathers.