Seminars & Events

5 February 2018
15:15 - 17:00
Sjoerd Groenman Gebouw C020

Seminar: Valentina De Stasio – Muslim by default or religious discrimination?


We use data from a set of cross-nationally comparative field experiments to understand hiring discrimination on grounds of religious affiliation in five European countries (Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway and the UK). Discrimination towards members of religious minorities has been detected in previous correspondence tests, which reported especially severe penalties for applicants disclosing an affiliation with Islam, as well as applicants from countries of origin with a substantial Muslim population. In this study, we compare the call-back rates of immigrant job applicants originating from countries with a substantial Muslim population, half of which signaled closeness to Islam in the job application. We follow common practice in the discrimination literature and signal religiosity through volunteering activities in fictitious associations that are professionally relevant for the target job and have a Muslim connotation, using a secular volunteering association (i.e. with no mention of religious affiliation) as a reference category. With this design, we can isolate the individual-level effect of disclosing an affiliation with Islam from the group-level effect of originating from a country with a substantial Muslim population. Moreover, we compare the Muslim stigma across various countries of origin that are commonly associated with Islam and across countries of destination characterized by different levels of religious climates, a varying history of church-state relations and distinctive approaches to grant cultural and religious rights to minorities.

Valentina Di Stasio joined the European Research Centre in Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER) as Assistant Professor in December 2017. Before that, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology at the University of Oxford (Nuffield College), where she coordinated a field experiment to test ethnic, gender and religious discrimination in the British labour market, using the methodology of correspondence testing (also known as resume-based auditing). This study is part of a set of harmonized correspondence tests fielded in 5 countries between 2016 and 2017 (see GEMM project:, which represent the first cross-national field experiment on this topic.