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Measuring and Explaining Discrimination in the Labour Market (DISCRIM) (completed)

New Understandings and Political Solutions.

About the project

Discrimination is notoriously difficult to measure, and occurs when people with similar qualifications and merits are treated unequally. Our project will measure if immigrants are discriminated in the labour market. By combining a new methodological research design (correspondence testing) with solid empirical research using register data, this project will increase our knowledge about the prevalence and causes of discrimination. We will pay special attention to gender differences among immigrants and compare them with gender differences in the majority population. Our main dependent variables are access to jobs, employment careers and wage differentials.

Reverse discriminationReverse dicrimination. Photo: Suparna Sinha (Some rights reserved)


The primary objective of this project is to measure and explain discrimination in the labour market.

Secondary objectives:

  • to measure if men and women with foreign names experience disadvantage in the hiring process.
  • to explore why employers choose as they do in a specific hiring-situation.
  • to analyze male and female second generation immigrants' access to jobs, occupational status and wages in the first couple of years after leaving the educational system.
  • to analyse whether Norwegian employers exercise monopsonistic discrimination against immigrants.


Using register data including the whole population we will provide solid empirical analyses of the Norwegian labour market, with a specific focus on labour market outcomes for immigrants and their children (second generation) with so-called non-western origin (non-OECD countries, plus Turkey) as compared with the majority population. Empirically we will investigate discrimination in two ways: first by performing a field experiment to test employers’ behaviour (correspondence testing, with follow-up interviews). Second, we will, using register data, estimate how important employers’ power in the labor market is for explaining access to employment and wage differentials. Thus, by switching our focus to the demand side of the labor market, where, given access to labor supply, the decision power is located, we will get a better understanding of discrimination, its prevalence and explanation.


Our project will increase our knowledge about the prevalence and causes of discrimination in the labour market, thereby contributing with policy relevant knowledge for implementing more targeted measures against discrimination.


Read the fact sheet for the project summary and results (in Norwegian).


The project comprises researchers at three institutions:

Funding scheme

The total grant award was for NOK 10 978 000.

Project period

1 January 2011 - 31 December 2015

Published Nov. 11, 2011 12:04 PM - Last modified Oct. 24, 2019 11:28 AM


Visiting address

Moltke Moes street 31
Harriet Holters building
2nd floor

Postal address

P.O. Box 1096 Blindern
0317 Oslo

Phone og e-mail

22 85 52 57 (phone)