Study inspects discrimination in names

January 27, 2003
It's a game we've all played. When there's a name without a face, we try to fill in the blank. And in a society burdened by racial assumptions, we stereotype. Suzy? White. Clarence? Black.
     The exercise seems harmless. But the results of a study released last week signified more than a parlor game. Professors at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sent out about 5,000 resumes in response to want ads.
     They found that resumes with "white-sounding" names elicited about 50 percent more callbacks than those with "black-sounding" names. And the quality of the credentials made no difference.