Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in the Labor Market for Child Care Teachers

Casey Boyd-Swan, Chris M. Herbst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This article examines racial and ethnic discrimination in the child care teacher hiring process. We construct a unique data set that combines a résumé audit study of center-based providers with a follow-up survey of those in the original audit sample. Fictitious résumés were randomly assigned White-, Black-, and Hispanic-sounding names and submitted in response to real teacher job advertisements. The survey was then administered to capture the characteristics of children, teachers, and administrators within the center. These data reveal three key results. First, we find robust evidence of discrimination: Black and Hispanic applicants receive significantly fewer interview requests than observationally equivalent Whites. Second, our results are consistent with a model of customer discrimination: The racial and ethnic composition of the center’s customer base is correlated with the characteristics of job seekers receiving an interview. Finally, we show that states’ child care regulations mitigate the racial and ethnic gap in interview requests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-406
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Researcher
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • center-based child care
  • discrimination in hiring
  • diversity
  • early childhood
  • economics of education
  • ethnicity
  • experimental research
  • race
  • racial discrimination
  • résumé audit study
  • survey research
  • teacher characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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