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Internet Job Search and Unemployment Durations

  • Kuhn, Peter
  • Skuterud, Mikal Skuterud

After decades of stability, the technologies used by workers to locate new jobs began to change rapidly with the diffusion of internet access in the late 1990’s. Which types of persons incorporated the internet into their job search strategy, and did searching for work on line help these workers find new jobs faster? We address these questions using measures of internet job search derived from the December 1998 and August 2000 CPS Computer and Internet Supplements, matched with job search outcomes from subsequent CPS files. We find that internet searchers are positively selected on observables, but negatively selected on unobservables. A beneficial (unemployment-duration reducing) causal effect of internet job search is consistent with our estimates only if negative selection on unobservables is especially strong, in other words only if the population of on-line resumes is strongly adversely selected.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara in its series University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt8583s24x.

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Date of creation: 09 Oct 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt8583s24x
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  1. Goolsbee, Austan & Klenow, Peter J, 2002. "Evidence on Learning and Network Externalities in the Diffusion of Home Computers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 317-43, October.
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  9. Lancaster, Tony, 1979. "Econometric Methods for the Duration of Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 939-56, July.
  10. Brown, Jeffrey, 2000. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Working Paper Series rwp00-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  11. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  13. Erik Brynjolfsson & Michael D. Smith, 2000. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 563-585, April.
  14. Han, Aaron & Hausman, Jerry A, 1990. "Flexible Parametric Estimation of Duration and Competing Risk Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, January-M.
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  16. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-79, June.
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