What Drives Job Search? Evidence from Google Search Data
AbstractThe large-scale unemployment caused by the Great Recession has necessitated unprecedented increases in the duration of unemployment insurance (UI). While it is clear that the weekly payments are beneficial to recipients, workers receiving benefits have less incentive to engage in job search and accept job offers. We construct a job search activity index based on Google data which provides the first high-frequency, state-specific measure of job search activity. We demonstrate the validity of our measure by benchmarking it against the American Time Use Survey and the comScore Web-User Panel, and also by showing that it varies with hypothesized drivers of search activity. We test for search activity responses to policy shifts and changes in the distribution of unemployment benefit duration. We find that search activity is greater when a claimant's UI benefits near exhaustion. Furthermore, search activity responses to the passage of bills that increase unemployment benefits duration are negative but short-lived in most specifications. Using daily data, we estimate that an increase by 1% of the population of unemployed receiving additional benefits results in a decrease in aggregate search activity of 1.7% lasting only one week.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 10-020.
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Job Search; Unemployment; Unemployent Insurance; Moral Hazard; Internet Search;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
- E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
- H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
- H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
- J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
- J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
- J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
- J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Public Policy
- J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
- J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - General
- L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services
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