The Dynamics of Referral Hiring and Racial Inequality: Evidence from Brazil

Produced by: 
Available from: 
October 2021
Paper author(s): 
Conrad Miller
Ian Schmutte
Poverty - Inequality - Aid Effectiveness

We study how referral hiring contributes to racial inequality in firm-level labor demand over the firm’s life cycle using data from Brazil. We consider a search model where referral networks are segregated, firms are more informed about the match quality of referred candidates, and some referrals are made by nonreferred employees. Consistent with the model, we find that firms are more likely to hire candidates and less likely to dismiss employees of the same race as the founder, but these differences diminish as firms’ cumulative hires increase. Referral hiring helps to explain racial differences in dismissals, seniority, and employer size.


Research section: 
Latest Research
Share this