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In the aftermath of the Euro debt crisis, negative stereotypes about Southern Europeans were (re)activated across Northern European countries. Because these stereotypes make explicit reference to productivity-relevant traits, they have the potential to influence employers' hiring decisions. We draw on a sub-sample of the Growth, Equal Opportunities, Migration and Markets discrimination study (GEMM) to investigate the responses of over 3500 firms based in Germany, the Netherlands and Norway to identical (fictitious) young applicants born to Greek, Spanish, Italian and native-born parents. Using French descendants as a placebo treatment and sub-Saharan African descendants as a benchmark treatment, we find severe levels of hiring discrimination against Southern European descendants in both Norway and the Netherlands, but not in Germany. Discrimination in Norway seems largely driven by employers' preferences for applicants of native descent, while in the Netherlands discrimination seems specifically targeted against Greek and Spanish descendants. Dutch employers' propensity to penalize these two groups seems driven by information deficits.
hiring discrimination; southern europeans; second generation; northern europe; stereotypes; euro debt crisis; migration histories; in-group favoritism; targeted discrimination; placebo test; information deficits; gemm study