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Residential-Based Discrimination in the Labor Market

  • Štěpán Mikula ORCID logo EMAIL logo and Tommaso Reggiani ORCID logo


Through a correspondence study, this paper investigates whether employers discriminate job applicants based on their living conditions. Exploiting the natural setting provided by a Rapid Re-housing Program, we sent 1347 job applications for low-qualified front-desk jobs in Brno, Czech Republic. The resumes exogenously differed in only one main aspect represented by the address of the applicants, signaling both the quality of the neighborhood and the quality of the housing conditions in which they were living. We found that while the higher quality of the district has a strong effect in increasing the hiring chances (+20%) the actual improvement of the living conditions standards, per se, does not generate any significant positive effect.

JEL Classification: C93; J08; J71

Corresponding author: Štěpán Mikula, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, E-mail:

Award Identifier / Grant number: GA18-19492S


Support from the Czech Science Foundation grant GA18-19492S is gratefully acknowledged. We are grateful to the Editor, the anonymous referees, and Jana Cahlikova for their comments that helped us improve the paper substantially.

Appendix A: Online Appendix

A.1 Neighborhood Characteristics

Table A.1:

Neighborhoods: summary statistics.

Neighborhood Differences
Cejl Tř. kpt. Jaroše All (1) − (2) (1) − (3) (2) − (3)
(T1 and T2) (T0) (Whole city)
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
Tertiary education (share) 0.152 0.422 0.366 −0.270*** −0.214*** 0.056
(0.360) (0.495) (0.482)
Primary education (share) 0.259 0.076 0.065 0.183*** 0.194*** 0.010
(0.440) (0.265) (0.247)
PC with Internet at home (share) 0.312 0.616 0.724 −0.304*** −0.412*** −0.108***
(0.466) (0.488) (0.447)
Children per capita 0.705 0.173 0.242 0.532*** 0.463*** −0.069
(0.999) (0.554) (0.579)
Economically active (share) 0.527 0.627 0.648 −0.100* −0.121*** −0.021
(0.502) (0.485) (0.478)
Observations (n) 112 185 28,601
  1. Table reports characteristics of population of women in their twenties living in Brno obtained using 2011 census data. Columns (1) to (3) report means and standard deviations in parentheses. Columns (4) to (6) report differences in means and results of t-tests: *, ** and *** denote statistical significance at the 10, 5 and 1% level.

A.2 Representative Resume Layout





*Primary school located in Brno


*Call-irrelevant position before maternity leave

*Maternity leave

Last year experience:

*0 or 2 call-irrelevant positions

*Call-relevant position.


A.3 Ancillary Treatment Configurations

Pre-maternity leave call-irrelevant positions

Between years 2010 and 2011, I worked as an assistant of

a plastic press operator in PlastBrno s.r.o. in Brno.

I worked for two years as a textile quality controller in Nová

Mosilana in Brno, where I started in 2010.

After finishing school, I worked two years until 2011 on a

production line in Modus in Brno, where televisions and

computers were assembled.

Maternity leave signals

I was home on maternity leave with my two kids for five years.

Then I was home on parental leave for five years, where I took

care of my two kids.

I was on parental leave with my two kids from 2012 to 2016.

Call-irrelevant experience

Packer of promotional items

Cleaner in Olamn company

I worked in a warehouse in Zator.

Metalworker in BMI, Brno

A.4 Cover Letters

Variant 1:

Dobrý den,

ráda bych se přihlasila k vám do práce.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to apply for a job in your company.

Variant 2:

Dobrý den,

odpovidam na vas inzerat. Budu rada kdyz se ozvete.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing in response to your advertisement. I am looking

forward to hear from you.

Variant 3:


posilam vam muj zivotopis. Rada bych u vas pracovala.


You can find my resume attached. I would like to work in your


A.5 Pictures

Figure A.3: 
Houses in the correspondence experiment.
Source: Google Maps.
Figure A.3:

Houses in the correspondence experiment.

Source: Google Maps.

Figure A.4: 
Application form at
Figure A.4:

Application form at

Figure A.5: 
Example of a resume.
Figure A.5:

Example of a resume.


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Received: 2021-09-08
Accepted: 2022-03-08
Published Online: 2022-04-07

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