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The Hiring Function Reconsidered: on Closing the Circle

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  • Karen Mumford
  • Peter N. Smith

Abstract

This paper investigates the matching of job searchers with vacant jobs: a key component of the dynamics of worker reallocation in the labour market. The job searchers may be unemployed, employed or not in the labour force and we estimate matching or hiring functions including all three groups. We show that previous studies, which ignore both employed job seekers and unemployed job seekers who are considered to be out of the labour force, produce biased estimates of the coefficients of interest. By considering only unemployment outflows into jobs and ignoring interdependencies with other flows, these studies overlook an important aspect of job matching. Our estimates on Australian data support a more general approach and produce models that dominate those proposed previously. We find that concentrating on the aggregate matching function alone does not reveal the full extent of the interaction across job searchers. Indeed, we find that job searchers from the three groups do not receive a fair share of hires: there appears to be segmentation of hiring opportunities which may be explained by a form of ranking of applicants. Together these results demonstrate that the disaggregate worker flows and their interdependence are key features on the labour market and should be included in studies of the hiring process.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen Mumford & Peter N. Smith, 1999. "The Hiring Function Reconsidered: on Closing the Circle," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(3), pages 343-364, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:61:y:1999:i:3:p:343-364
    DOI: 10.1111/1468-0084.00133
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