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Do High-Wage Jobs Attract more Applicants? Directed Search Evidence from the Online Labor Market

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  • Stefano Banfi
  • Benjamín Villena-Roldán

Abstract

Are workers applying more to high-wage jobs? To what extent do job seekers guide their search using information posted by employers? In the theoretical literature, workers directing search to jobs offering higher wages has strong implications for labor market efficiency, but the evidence supporting this behavior is scarce and murky. We provide strong evidence of directed search in online job markets. We use a novel feature of our data: even if employers choose not to make offered wages visible for applicants, we observe them as econometricians. Estimates using only explicitly posted wages suffer from selection bias because job ads that post an explicit wage require significantly lower education and experience, and offer lower wages. We find significant evidence for directed search evidence when wages are not explicitly declared, suggesting that the text and requirements of the posted job ad tacitly convey wage information. Moreover, job ad requirements are closely aligned with their applicants' traits, in line with predictions of directed search models with heterogeneity. Our evidence suggests that job ads with hidden wages are noisy signals of a high expected wage, used to attract skilled applicants and to deter unskilled ones. JEL codes: J64, J22, J42, E24. Key words: Keywords: directed search, wage posting, online job board, segmentation.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Banfi & Benjamín Villena-Roldán, 2016. "Do High-Wage Jobs Attract more Applicants? Directed Search Evidence from the Online Labor Market," Documentos de Trabajo 327, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  • Handle: RePEc:edj:ceauch:327
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Carrillo-Tudela & Hermann Gartner & Leo Kaas, 2020. "Recruitment Policies, Job-Filling Rates and Matching Efficiency," CESifo Working Paper Series 8299, CESifo.
    2. Bhuller, Manudeep & Kostøl, Andreas & Vigtel, Trond Christian, 2019. "How Broadband Internet Affects Labor Market Matching," Memorandum 10/2019, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    3. Косулиев, Александър, 2019. "Заплатата (Не) Е Посочена. Анализ На Обяви За Работа От Русе [When employers post their wage? Analysis of job adverts from Ruse, Bulgaria]," MPRA Paper 104585, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Susan Vroman, 2015. "Directed Search with Phantom Vacancies," 2015 Meeting Papers 649, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. David Berger & Kyle Herkenhoff & Simon Mongey, 2022. "Labor Market Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 112(4), pages 1147-1193, April.
    6. Kircher, Philipp A.T., 2020. "Search design and online job search – new avenues for applied and experimental research," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    7. Bagger, Jesper & Fontaine, Francois & Galenianos, Manolis & Trapeznikova, Ija, 2022. "Vacancies, employment outcomes and firm growth: Evidence from Denmark," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    8. Andreas Kettemann & Andreas I. Mueller & Josef Zweimüller, 2018. "Vacancy durations and entry wages: evidence from linked vacancy-employer-employee data," ECON - Working Papers 312, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    9. Michèle Belot & Philipp Kircher & Paul Muller, 2018. "How Wage Announcements Affect Job Search - A Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 7302, CESifo.
    10. Hensvik, Lena & Le Barbanchon, Thomas & Rathelot, Roland, 2021. "Job search during the COVID-19 crisis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
    11. Eugenia Andreasen & Patricio Valenzuela, 2018. "Investment Opportunities and Corporate Credit Risk," Documentos de Trabajo 336, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    12. Ian Burn & Patrick Button & Luis Felipe Munguia Corella & David Neumark, 2019. "Older Workers Need Not Apply? Ageist Language in Job Ads and Age Discrimination in Hiring," NBER Working Papers 26552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Kuhn, Peter & Shen, Kailing & Zhang, Shuo, 2020. "Gender-targeted job ads in the recruitment process: Facts from a Chinese job board," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    14. Choi, Sekyu & Figueroa, Nincen & Villena-Roldán, Benjamin, 2020. "Wage Cyclicality Revisited: The Role of Hiring Standards," MPRA Paper 98240, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Mamertino, Mariano & Sinclair, Tara M., 2019. "Migration and online job search: A gravity model approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 51-53.
    16. Julien Albertini & Arthur Poirier & Anthony Terriau, 2020. "The impact of EITC on education, labor market trajectories, and inequalities," Working Papers halshs-03082382, HAL.
    17. Sekyu Choi & Stefano Banfi & Benjamín Villena-Roldán, 2019. "Sorting On-line and On-time," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 19/706, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    18. Randall Wright & Philipp Kircher & Benoit Julîen & Veronica Guerrieri, 2017. "Directed Search: A Guided Tour," NBER Working Papers 23884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Anton A. Cheremukhin & Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria, 2020. "Wage Setting Under Targeted Search," Working Papers 2020-041, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 20 Jul 2021.
    20. Xiangnan Feng & Shuang Ma & Lingling Wen & Yan Zhao, 2021. "Immediate effect of air pollution on labor mobility: empirical evidence from online résumé data," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 67(2), pages 483-512, October.
    21. Kuhn, Peter J. & Shen, Kailing, 2021. "What Happens When Employers Can No Longer Discriminate in Job Ads?," IZA Discussion Papers 14618, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. Alan Manning, 2021. "Monopsony in Labor Markets: A Review," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 74(1), pages 3-26, January.
    23. Tara Sinclair & Mariano Mamertino, 2016. "Online Job Search and Migration Intentions Across EU Member States," Working Papers 2016-5, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    keywords: directed search; wage posting; online job board; segmentation.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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