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The Intensity of Job Search and Search Duration

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We use panel data on individual applications to job openings on a job search website to study search intensity and search duration. Our data allow us to control for the composition of job seekers and changes in the number of available job openings over the duration of search. We find that (1) the number of applications sent by a job seeker declines over the duration of search, and (2) longer-duration job seekers send relatively more applications per week throughout their entire search. The latter finding contradicts the implications of standard labor search models. We argue that these models fail to capture an income effect in search effort that causes job seekers with the lowest returns to search to exert the highest effort. We present evidence in support of this idea.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2016-13.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 23 Jul 2016
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2016-13
DOI: 10.24148/wp2016-13
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  19. van Ours, Jan & Ridder, Geert, 1991. "Cyclical variation in vacancy durations and vacancy flows : An empirical analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1143-1155, July.
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  24. Kroft, Kory & Lange, Fabian & Notowidigdo, Matthew J., 2012. "Duration Dependence and Labor Market Conditions: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2012-21, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Sep 2012.
  25. Kroft, Kory & Pope, Devin G., 2012. "Does Online Search Crowd Out Traditional Search and Improve Matching Efficiency? Evidence from Craigslist," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2012-35, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 30 Nov 2012.
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