Applied Micro Lunch Seminar: Mariana Osegura, University of Toronto

Date and Time
North Hall 2111


Mariana Osegura, University of Toronto 


"Tearing the Paper Ceiling: Moving to a Skill-Based Hiring Approach?"


A growing trend among employers emphasizes evaluating candidates based on their skills and practical experiences rather than on college degrees, with some employers even eliminating degree requirements from their job openings. Using a large-scale audit study, I investigate how employers evaluate candidates who have acquired skills via alternative routes (ARs). In particular, I focus on how (a) employers' degree requirements, and (b)  the paths taken to acquire relevant skills and their demographic characteristics influence employers' perceptions of the information traditionally inferred from college degrees. The results show that hiring firms are, on average, 20% less likely to call back ARs candidates compared to college degree graduates with similar relevant experience, regardless of their degree requirements. However, the observed penalty for ARs candidates is erased if these candidates have additional years of experience. Finally, the analysis reveals that employers are more likely to penalize female ARs than male ARs, suggesting that the negative perception of women's skills can be particularly harmful when they lack formal credentials.