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Does the internet help the unemployed find jobs?

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  • Choi, Eleanor Jawon

Abstract

This study examines the effect of internet job search (IJS) on job-finding rates among unemployed job seekers during the rapid expansion of the internet from the mid-1990s to the early 2010s. To address endogenous selection into IJS, I use an instrumental variables (IV) strategy exploiting the rise of IJS within occupations over time, which varied across occupations depending on pre-internet exposure to computers at work. The analysis sample includes unemployed workers from the December 1998, August 2000, September 2001, October 2003, and July 2011 Current Population Survey (CPS) Computer and Internet Use Supplements and the September 1992 Basic Monthly CPS, longitudinally matched with their employment outcomes from the subsequent monthly CPS files. The IV estimates indicate that IJS increased the 15-month job-finding rate by 12.9 percentage points (25.1% relative to the mean). Results from placebo exercises and various specification checks support a causal interpretation of the estimated effects. Additionally, the effectiveness of IJS remained stable over time throughout the analysis period.

Suggested Citation

  • Choi, Eleanor Jawon, 2023. "Does the internet help the unemployed find jobs?," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:62:y:2023:i:c:s0167624523000021
    DOI: 10.1016/j.infoecopol.2023.101017
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internet job search; Unemployment; Job-finding rate;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation

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