Improving our Understanding of Employer Decision-making Thanks to Factorial Survey Analysis

TitleImproving our Understanding of Employer Decision-making Thanks to Factorial Survey Analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMcDonald, P
JournalLIVES Working Paper
Volume61
Pagination26
PublisherNCCR LIVES
Keywordsdiscrimination, employer behaviour, employer surveys, Factorial survey analysis, recruitment
Abstract

Factorial Survey Analysis (FSA) is an analytical tool that presents respondents with fictional situations (“vignettes”) to be rated or judged. In this paper we study the uses of FSA in labour market sociology, with a particular focus on employer-based surveys, and what they can teach us about hiring decisions. FSA is a useful tool in this context as it targets employers directly, rather than relying on inference from labour-force surveys, or recollection of previous decision-making. Additionally, it makes causal relationships more easily identifiable. This review article seeks to pinpoint the contributions FSA has made to the field, and shows that FSA is useful in gleaning new and important information on previously hard-to-reach issues. Particularly, FSA can be used to analyse employers’ use of signals and indices, and their decision-making behaviours in general. Finally, the paper proposes some further applications for FSA going forward, especially in terms of understanding recruitment discrimination.

DOI10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2017.61