Do black lives matter to employers? A combined field and natural experiment of racially disparate hiring practices in the wake of protests against police violence and racial oppression


This study uses an experimental audit design, implemented both before and during the heightened unrest following the murder of George Floyd, to gauge the impact of Black Lives Matter and associated protests against police brutality and anti-Black racism on racially disparate hiring practices. We contrast treatment of fictitious Black and White job applicants in the labor market for service-related job openings, specifically applicants with prior experience as a police officer, firefighter, or code enforcement officer. Results reveal that the White advantage in employer call-backs and requests for an interview receded during the protests and unrest following the killing of George Floyd, even to the point of producing a Black advantage.

PLoS One