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Providing Advice to Job Seekers at Low Cost: An Experimental Study on On-Line Advice

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Abstract

Helping job seekers to identify suitable jobs is a key challenge for policy makers. We develop and evaluate experimentally a novel tool that provides tailored advice at low cost and thereby redesigns the process through which job seekers search for jobs. We invited 300 job seekers to our computer facilities for 12 consecutive weekly sessions. They searched for real jobs using our web interface. After 3 weeks, we introduced a manipulation of the interface for half of the sample: instead of relying on their own search criteria, we displayed relevant other occupations to them and the jobs that were available in these occupations. These suggestions were based on background information and readily available labor market data. We recorded search behavior on our site but also surveyed participants every week on their other search activities, applications and job interviews. We find that these suggestions broaden the set of jobs considered by the average participant. More importantly, we find that they are invited to significantly more job interviews. These effects are predominantly driven by job seekers who searched relatively narrowly initially and who have been unemployed for a few months.

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  • Michele Belot & Philipp Kircher & Paul Muller, 2015. "Providing Advice to Job Seekers at Low Cost: An Experimental Study on On-Line Advice," ESE Discussion Papers 262, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:262
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    Cited by:

    1. Gürtzgen, Nicole & Nolte, André & Pohlan, Laura & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2018. "Do digital information technologies help unemployed job seekers find a job? Evidence from the broadband internet expansion in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-030, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    2. Abebe, Girum & Caria, Stefano & Fafchamps, Marcel & Falco, Paolo & Franklin, Simon & Quinn, Simon, 2017. "Anonymity of distance? Job search and labour market exclusion in a growing African city," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86573, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Michèle Belot & Philipp Kircher & Paul Muller, 2018. "How Wage Announcements Affect Job Search - A Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 7302, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. repec:eee:labeco:v:50:y:2018:i:c:p:67-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Schmidt, Felix & Berger, Eva & Schunk, Daniel & Müller, Henning & König, Günther, 2017. "Self-Regulation Training and Job Search Effort: A Natural Field Experiment within an Active Labor Market Program," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168177, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. repec:aea:aejapp:v:11:y:2019:i:2:p:284-301 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Faberman, R. Jason & Menzio, Guido, 2018. "Evidence on the relationship between recruiting and the starting wage," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 67-79.
    8. Jingcheng Fu & Martin Sefton & Richard Upward, 2017. "Social comparisons in job search: experimental evidence," Discussion Papers 2017-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    9. Altmann, Steffen & Falk, Armin & Jäger, Simon & Zimmermann, Florian, 2018. "Learning about job search: A field experiment with job seekers in Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 33-49.
    10. repec:spr:izalpo:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40173-017-0094-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:ora:journl:v:1:y:2017:i:2:p:60-73 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. John J. Conlon & Laura Pilossoph & Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2018. "Labor Market Search With Imperfect Information and Learning," Working Papers 2018-068, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    13. Philipp Kircher & Paul Muller & Michele Belot, 2017. "How Wage Announcements Affect Job Search Behaviour - A Field Experimental Investigation," 2017 Meeting Papers 722, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Martin Abel & Rulof Burger & Eliana Carranza & Patrizio Piraino, 2019. "Bridging the Intention-Behavior Gap? The Effect of Plan-Making Prompts on Job Search and Employment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 284-301, April.
    15. Michele Battisti & Yvonne Giesing & Nadzeya Laurentsyeva, 2018. "Can Job Search Assistance Improve the Labour Market Integration for Refugees? Evidence from a Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 7292, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. repec:wfo:monber:y:2017:i:6 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:wfo:monber:y:2017:i:6:p:493-505 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2017:n:380 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Pedro S. Martins, 2017. "Clicking towards Mozambique's New Jobs: A research note," Working Papers 85, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    20. Eva M. Berger & Guenther Koenig & Henning Mueller & Felix Schmidt & Daniel Schunk, 2016. "Self-Regulation Training, Labor Market Reintegration of Unemployed Individuals, and Locus of Control Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," Working Papers 1622, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 2016.
    21. Abebe, Girum & Caria, Stefano & Fafchamps, Marcel & Falco, Paolo & Franklin, Simon & Quinn, Simon, 2017. "Anonymity of distance? Job search and labour market exclusion in a growing African city," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86573, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Online job search; occupational broadness; search design;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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