No names, no bias?

By The Economist

“If you’ve got the grades, the skills and the determination, this government will ensure you can succeed,” trumpeted David Cameron, the British prime minister, on October 26th, as he unveiled plans to tackle discrimination in the workplace.

Ten big employers in the public and private sectors—including the civil service, HSBC and Deloitte—have agreed to start recruiting on a “name-blind” basis in Britain; others may also follow suit. In such schemes, those drawing up shortlists of applicants cannot see their names, with the aim of reducing racial and sexual bias. But do they work?

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