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Despite conservative claims that blacks benefit from affirmative action, a recent meta-analysis of 56,000 job applications found that whites are still getting 24%  more callbacks than Hispanics, and an incredible 36% more than blacks!

This despite the fact that the resumes were identical, except for race.

Northwestern professor Lincoln Quillian explained:

The vast majority of studies used names to do so – “Lakisha” and “Jamal” versus “Emily” or “Brandon” would be the kind of names that signal race and ethnicity. They found out that Emily and Brandon get significantly more callbacks for job interviews than Lakisha and Jamal do.
A few studies do put on an HBCU [historically black college or university] or some kind of mention of them in the Black Students Association or something like that as a kind of additional signal of race or ethnicity. Some studies used in-person applications by trained tester pairs of white and black applicants. In these studies, race or ethnicity was indicated by appearance.

My only quibble with the research is that names like Lakisha not only sound black, but also ghetto, so how do they know if this is race discrimination per se, or just class discrimination?

Perhaps the studies using in-person applicants are better.

But it’s hard to believe anti-black job discrimination could be so pervasive when other research shows that controlling for IQ, the black-white wage gap closes and blacks are more likely to land high IQ jobs.


Source: The Bell Curve by R. Herrnstein and C. Murray


Source: The Bell Curve by R. Herrnstein and C. Murraya caption

On the other hand, if IQ tests are also unfairly discriminating against blacks to some degree,  then the paradox is resolved because blacks will typically be smarter than their test scores suggest, in which case controlling for IQ ≠ controlling for intelligence.

But one problem with this argument is Herrnstein and Murray argued that IQ tests are not biased against blacks because if they were, blacks would overperform their scores, which they apparently do not:

For job performance, the most thorough analysis is provided by the Hartigan Report, assessing the relationship between the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB) and job performance measures. Out of seventy-two studies that were assembled for review, the white intercept was higher than the black intercept in sixty of them – that is, the GATB overpredicted black performance in sixty out of the seventy-two studies. Of the twenty studies in which the intercepts were statistically significantly different (at the .01 level), the white intercept was greater than the black intercept in all twenty cases.