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Determinants of Callbacks to Job Applications: An Audit Study

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  • Henry S. Farber
  • Dan Silverman
  • Till von Wachter

Abstract

We summarize findings from an audit study investigating how unemployment duration, age, and holding a low-level "interim" job affect the likelihood that experienced college-educated females applying for administrative support jobs receive a callback from potential employers. The results show no relationship between callback rates and unemployment duration. In contrast, workers age 50 and older and workers with an "interim" job are significantly less likely to receive callbacks. We also summarize disparate findings in the growing literature of resume-based audit studies of career histories, and discuss avenues in which the literature could achieve results that are more comparable and externally valid.

Suggested Citation

  • Henry S. Farber & Dan Silverman & Till von Wachter, 2016. "Determinants of Callbacks to Job Applications: An Audit Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 314-318, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:5:p:314-18
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20161010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Neumark & Ian Burn & Patrick Button, 2019. "Is It Harder for Older Workers to Find Jobs? New and Improved Evidence from a Field Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(2), pages 922-970.
    2. Farber, Henry S & Silverman, Dan & Wachter, Till von, 2015. "Factors Determining Callbacks to Job Applications by the Unemployed: An Audit Study," IZA Discussion Papers 9465, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013. "Duration Dependence and Labor Market Conditions: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1123-1167.
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    7. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Van Borm, Hannah & Burn, Ian & Baert, Stijn, 2021. "What Does a Job Candidate's Age Signal to Employers?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    2. Pierre Cahuc & Stéphane Carcillo & Andreea Minea, 2021. "The Difficult School-to-Work Transition of High School Dropouts: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(1), pages 159-183.
    3. Van Belle, Eva & Caers, Ralf & De Couck, Marijke & Di Stasio, Valentina & Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Why Is Unemployment Duration a Sorting Criterion in Hiring?," IZA Discussion Papers 10876, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Adermon, Adrian & Hensvik, Lena, 2022. "Gig-jobs: Stepping stones or dead ends?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    5. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Simon, Lisa & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Skills, signals, and employability: An experimental investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    6. Sara Ayllón & Javier Valbuena & Alexander Plum, 2022. "Youth Unemployment and Stigmatization Over the Business Cycle in Europe," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 84(1), pages 103-129, February.
    7. Francisco Perez‐Arce & María J. Prados, 2021. "The Decline In The U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate: A Literature Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 615-652, April.
    8. Nüß, Patrick, 2017. "Duration Dependence as an Unemployment Stigma: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Germany," GLO Discussion Paper Series 88, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. Andreea Minea, 2018. "Essays on the social inclusion of young people : family and labor market pathways [Essais sur l’inclusion sociale des jeunes : trajectoires familiales et professionnelles]," SciencePo Working papers tel-03419531, HAL.
    10. Henry S. Farber & Chris M. Herbst & Dan Silverman & Till von Wachter, 2018. "Whom Do Employers Want? The Role of Recent Employment and Unemployment Status and Age," Working Papers 619, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    11. Bonev, Petyo, 2020. "Nonparametric identification in nonseparable duration models with unobserved heterogeneity," Economics Working Paper Series 2005, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    12. Namingit, Sheryll & Blankenau, William & Schwab, Benjamin, 2021. "Sick and tell: A field experiment analyzing the effects of an illness-related employment gap on the callback rate," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 865-882.
    13. Patrick Kline & Christopher Walters, 2021. "Reasonable Doubt: Experimental Detection of Job‐Level Employment Discrimination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(2), pages 765-792, March.
    14. Henry S. Farber, 2016. "Employment, Hours and Earnings Consequences of Job Loss: U.S. Evidence from the Displaced Workers Survey," Working Papers 589a, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    15. Robert Calvert Jump & Engelbert Stockhammer, 2019. "Reconsidering the natural rate hypothesis," FMM Working Paper 45-2019, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    16. Patrick Kline & Christopher Walters, 2019. "Audits as Evidence: Experiments, Ensembles, and Enforcement," Papers 1907.06622, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2019.
    17. Kamal, Mustafa & Blacklow, Paul, 2021. "Australian age, period, cohort effects in the gender wage gap - 2001 to 2018," Working Papers 2021-02, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.
    18. Arne F. Lyshol & Plamen T. Nenov & Thea Wevelstad, 2021. "Duration Dependence and Labor Market Experience," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 35(1), pages 105-134, March.
    19. Francisco Perez-Arce & Maria J. Prados & Tarra Kohli, 2018. "The Decline in the U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate," Working Papers wp385, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    20. Laschever, Ron A. & Weinstein, Russell, 2021. "Preference Signaling and Worker-Firm Matching: Evidence from Interview Auctions," IZA Discussion Papers 14622, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    21. Andreea Minea, 2018. "Essays on the social inclusion of young people. Family and labor market pathways," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7dun75j1019, Sciences Po.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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