Assistant Professor of Marketing
Discrimination against the unemployed operates through attributions, is unjustifiable, and is nearly instantaneous. Experimental Studies 1 and 2 find that unemployment discrimination operates through attributions, as emphasizing an uncontrollable and external cause for unemployment onset alleviates discrimination. Experimental Studies 3 and 4 find that unemployment stigma is unjustifiable on productivity grounds, as formerly unemployed workers are judged negatively once on the job, even when we control for on-the-job performance. Across the studies, unemployed workers are perceived not only as less competent but also as less warm. Study 5 is a field study in which fictionalized resumes are sent to real employers. Controlling for qualifications, it finds that discrimination against the unemployed occurs nearly instantaneously to becoming unemployed.