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Does Online Search Crowd Out Traditional Search and Improve Matching Efficiency? Evidence from Craigslist

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  • Kory Kroft
  • Devin G. Pope

Abstract

Since the seminal work of Stigler in 1962, economists have recognized that information is costly to acquire and leads to "search frictions." Growth in online search has lowered the cost of information acquisition. We analyze the expansion of the website Craigslist, which allows users to post job and housing ads. Exploiting the sharp geographic and temporal variation in the availability of online search induced by Craigslist, we produce three key findings: Craigslist significantly lowered classified job advertisements in newspapers, caused a significant reduction in the apartment and house rental vacancy rate, and had no effect on the unemployment rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Kory Kroft & Devin G. Pope, 2014. "Does Online Search Crowd Out Traditional Search and Improve Matching Efficiency? Evidence from Craigslist," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 259-303.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/673374
    DOI: 10.1086/673374
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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