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ANU Crawford School of Public Policy presents


Gender-targeted job ads in the recruitment process: evidence from China


ACDE Seminar


24th March 2020


Seminar Room 1, Stanner Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Kailing Shen, ANU Research School of Economics



The study documents how explicit employer requests for applicants of a particular gender enter the recruitment process on a Chinese job board. It finds that 19 out of 20 callbacks to jobs are of the requested gender. Mostly, this is because application pools to those jobs are highly segregated, but men and women who apply to ads requesting the ‘other’ gender also experience lower callback rates than other applicants.

Controlling for job title-by-firm fixed effects suggests that explicit requests for men in a job ad reduce the female share of applicants by 15 percentage points, while explicit requests for women raise it by 25 percentage points. Controlling for worker and job title fixed effects suggests that applying for a gender-mismatched job reduces men’s callback probability by 24 per cent and women’s by 43 per cent. In short, explicit gender requests direct where workers send their applications and predict how applications will be treated by the employer.

Kailing Shen, Research School of Economics, The ANU

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