Islam: how bright a boundary? Field experimental evidence of ‘muslim hierarchies’ in employers’ hiring decisions

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from: 11:00
to: 12:00

Join a seminar which will examine how employers in five European labour markets (Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain) respond to applications received from Muslim job seekers

More specifically, by using data from a cross-nationally harmonised correspondence test, it was analysed whether employers differentiated based on country of origin in their hiring decisions. It was expected that call-backs would be lower for applicants originating from countries that could either trigger perceptions of cultural value incompatibility (symbolic threats) or be associated with political and military oppression (security threats).

The results show that Muslims indeed received lower call-back rates the higher the level of authoritarianism and gender inequality in their origin country. Interestingly, it was also found that employers were unresponsive to levels of authoritarianism and gender inequality when evaluating the applications of Christian, Hindu and Buddhist applicants originating from the very same countries (thus holding value incompatibility and political and military oppression constant), which was taken as evidence that these symbolic and security threats are only triggered by Muslims. Findings in relation to theories of Islamoprejudice and the racialisation of Muslim minorities in the European context are discussed.


Valentina Di Stasio (Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, EUI).


Martin Ruhs (Migration Policy Centre, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, EUI).