Economists generally frown on deception. For example, the journal Experimental Economics does not publish papers which use deception. However, I know that famous economics studies have been published where people send fake resumes to employers (to detect racial discrimination). For example, Bertrand and Mullainathan (2004).

Does this mean that sending fake resumes is not deception?

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the question. However, I think that this question is probably more suited to a site like academia.SE. It seems primarily opinion-based. $\endgroup$
    – jmbejara
    Jul 17 '17 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ @jmbejara Doesn't seem to be opinion-based; deception's a simple concept, and this clearly qualifies. If anything, it's kind of a boringly straight-forward question. $\endgroup$
    – Nat
    Jul 18 '17 at 2:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Nat. Yeah, you have a point. But, just to be sure, I don't think this is quite the right forum for this kind of question. (See economics.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic .) If there's enough public support though, (say, via Meta economics.meta.stackexchange.com), we could maybe reopen the question. $\endgroup$
    – jmbejara
    Jul 18 '17 at 2:24
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I don't think it is the intent of the OP to send fake resumes for her own job applications. Rather the question is about the kinds of deception accepted in experimental social science. Therefore I have nominated the question for reopening. (To get a feeling for the quality of possible answers, see the one already posted.) $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Jul 18 '17 at 5:37
  • $\begingroup$ This is not an economics question. It might be Philosophy, or English Language & Usage, but it's not economics $\endgroup$
    – 410 gone
    Jul 18 '17 at 6:37

Fake resumes are a form of deception in a manner of speaking, but the purpose of the deception is to reveal obfuscated bias in hiring practices. Not all journals take such a hard-line stance on this type of deception and as such papers can still be published.

For a more robust discussion on the main dimensions that determine the judgment of deception, I recommend Krawczyk (2013).


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