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Opening the Black Box of the Matching Function: The Power of Words

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  • Ioana Marinescu
  • Ronald Wolthoff

Abstract

On the leading job board CareerBuilder.com, high-wage job postings unexpectedly attract fewer applicants, and this is the case even within a detailed occupation. Viewed through the lens of our directed search model, this negative relationship is indicative of substantial applicant heterogeneity within an occupation. Empirically, we find that job title heterogeneity is key: within a job title, jobs with 10% higher wages do attract 7.7% more applicants. Furthermore, our findings are consistent with a higher return to worker quality for hires in “manager” and “senior” job titles. Overall, our findings demonstrate the power of words in the matching process.

Suggested Citation

  • Ioana Marinescu & Ronald Wolthoff, 2020. "Opening the Black Box of the Matching Function: The Power of Words," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 535-568.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/705903
    DOI: 10.1086/705903
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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