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Do Employers Use Unemployment as a Sorting Criterion When Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment

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Author Info

  • Eriksson, Stefan

    ()
    (Uppsala University)

  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

    ()
    (Linnaeus University)

Abstract

In this paper, we use unique data from a field experiment in the Swedish labor market to investigate how past and contemporary unemployment affect a young worker's probability of being invited to a job interview. In contrast to studies using registry/survey data, we have complete control over the information available to the employers and there is no scope for unobserved heterogeneity. We find no evidence that recruiting employers use information about past unemployment to sort workers, but some evidence that they use contemporary unemployment to sort workers. The fact that employers do not seem to use past unemployment as a sorting criterion suggests that the scarring effects of unemployment may not be as severe as has been indicated by previous studies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6235.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2014, 104 (3), 1014-1039
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6235

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Related research

Keywords: unemployment; field experiment; scarring;

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References

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  1. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "Work out or out of work -- The labor market return to physical fitness and leisure sports activities," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 399-409, June.
  2. Gregg, Paul & Tominey, Emma, 2005. "The wage scar from male youth unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 487-509, August.
  3. Olof �slund & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2007. "Do when and where matter? initial labour market conditions and immigrant earnings," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 422-448, 03.
  4. Arulampalam, Wiji, 2000. "Is Unemployment Really Scarring? Effects of Unemployment Experiences on Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 189, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bell, David N.F. & Blanchflower, David G., 2011. "Youth Unemployment in Europe and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 5673, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Oddbjørn Raaum & Knut Røed, 2006. "Do Business Cycle Conditions at the Time of Labor Market Entry Affect Future Employment Prospects?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 193-210, May.
  8. Narendranathan, W. & Elias, P., 1990. "Influences of Past History on the Incidence of Youth Unemployment: Empirical Finding for the U.K," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 369, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  9. Stefan Eriksson & Jonas Lagerström, 2006. "Competition between Employed and Unemployed Job Applicants: Swedish Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(3), pages 373-396, October.
  10. Gregory, Mary & Jukes, Robert, 2001. "Unemployment and Subsequent Earnings: Estimating Scarring among British Men 1984-94," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F607-25, November.
  11. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1990. "Job Search Outcomes for the Employed and Unemployed," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 637-55, June.
  12. Muhleisen, Martin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1994. "A panel analysis of job changes and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 793-801, April.
  13. Heckman, James J & Borjas, George J, 1980. "Does Unemployment Cause Future Unemployment? Definitions, Questions and Answers from a Continuous Time Model of Heterogeneity and State Dependence," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 247-83, August.
  14. Gregg, Paul, 2001. "The Impact of Youth Unemployment on Adult Unemployment in the NCDS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F626-53, November.
  15. Eriksson, Stefan & Lagerström, Jonas, 2007. "Detecting discrimination in the hiring process: evidence from an Internet-based search channel," Working Paper Series 2007:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  16. Belzil, Christian, 1996. "Relative Efficiencies and Comparative Advantages in Job Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 154-73, January.
  17. Burgess, Simon & Propper, Carol & Rees, Hedley & Shearer, Arran, 2003. "The class of 1981: the effects of early career unemployment on subsequent unemployment experiences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 291-309, June.
  18. Thomas A. Mroz & Timothy H. Savage, 2006. "The Long-Term Effects of Youth Unemployment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Unemployment dynamics
    by James_Hamilton in Econbrowser on 2014-05-07 21:54:52
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Cited by:
  1. Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2012. "Duration Dependence and Labor Market Conditions: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 18387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Akiomi KITAGAWA, 2013. "Long-run Consequences of Ranking Job Applicants by Unemployment Duration: Theoretical and Numerical Analyses," TERG Discussion Papers 301, Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University.
  3. M. Gaini & A. Leduc & A. Vicard, 2012. "A scarred generation? French evidence on young people entering into a tough labour market," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2012-05, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
  4. John M. Nunley & Adam Pugh & Nicholas Romero & Richard Alan Seals, Jr., 2014. "Unemployment, Underemployment, and Employment Opportunities: Results from a Correspondence Audit of the Labor Market for College Graduates," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-04, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
  5. Pavlina R. Tcherneva, 2014. "Full Employment: The Road Not Taken," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_789, Levy Economics Institute.
  6. Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Williams, John C., 2014. "A wedge in the dual mandate: monetary policy and long-term unemployment," Working Paper Series 2014-14, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. John M. Nunley & Adam Pugh & Nicholas Romero & Richard Alan Seals, Jr., 2014. "College Major, Internship Experience, and Employment Opportunities: Estimates from a Résumé Audit," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-03, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
  8. Hensvik, Lena & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2013. "Networks and youth labor market entry," Working Paper Series 2013:23, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  9. Pavlina R. Tcherneva, 2014. "The Social Enterprise Model for a Job Guarantee in the United States," Economics Policy Note Archive 14-1, Levy Economics Institute.
  10. John M. Nunley & Adam Pugh & Nicholas Romero & Richard Alan Seals, Jr., 2014. "An Examination of Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Estimates from the Field," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-06, Department of Economics, Auburn University.

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