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Do Employers Use Unemployment as a Sorting Criterion When Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment

  • Eriksson, Stefan

    ()

    (Uppsala University)

  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

    ()

    (Linnaeus University)

In this paper, we use unique data from a field experiment in the Swedish labor market to investigate how past and contemporary unemployment affect a young worker's probability of being invited to a job interview. In contrast to studies using registry/survey data, we have complete control over the information available to the employers and there is no scope for unobserved heterogeneity. We find no evidence that recruiting employers use information about past unemployment to sort workers, but some evidence that they use contemporary unemployment to sort workers. The fact that employers do not seem to use past unemployment as a sorting criterion suggests that the scarring effects of unemployment may not be as severe as has been indicated by previous studies.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp6235.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6235.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2014, 104 (3), 1014-1039
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6235
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  1. Thomas A. Mroz & Timothy H. Savage, 2006. "The Long-Term Effects of Youth Unemployment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
  2. Stefan Eriksson & Jonas Lagerström, 2012. "Detecting discrimination in the hiring process: evidence from an Internet-based search channel," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 537-563, October.
  3. Gregory, Mary & Jukes, Robert, 2001. "Unemployment and Subsequent Earnings: Estimating Scarring among British Men 1984-94," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F607-25, November.
  4. Oddbjørn Raaum & Knut Røed, 2006. "Do Business Cycle Conditions at the Time of Labor Market Entry Affect Future Employment Prospects?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 193-210, May.
  5. Heckman, James J & Borjas, George J, 1980. "Does Unemployment Cause Future Unemployment? Definitions, Questions and Answers from a Continuous Time Model of Heterogeneity and State Dependence," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 247-83, August.
  6. Arulampalam, Wiji, 2001. "Is Unemployment Really Scarring? Effects of Unemployment Experiences on Wages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F585-606, November.
  7. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1990. "Job Search Outcomes for the Employed and Unemployed," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 637-55, June.
  8. Bell, David N.F. & Blanchflower, David G., 2011. "Youth Unemployment in Europe and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 5673, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Narendranathan, W. & Elias, P., 1990. "Influences of Past History on the Incidence of Youth Unemployment: Empirical Finding for the U.K," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 369, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  10. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "Work out or out of work -- The labor market return to physical fitness and leisure sports activities," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 399-409, June.
  11. Eriksson, Stefan & Lagerström, Jonas, 2004. "Competition between employed and unemployed job applicants: Swedish evidence," Working Paper Series 2004:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  12. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
  13. Belzil, Christian, 1996. "Relative Efficiencies and Comparative Advantages in Job Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 154-73, January.
  14. Gregg, Paul & Tominey, Emma, 2005. "The wage scar from male youth unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 487-509, August.
  15. Muhleisen, Martin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1994. "A panel analysis of job changes and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 793-801, April.
  16. Gregg, Paul, 2001. "The Impact of Youth Unemployment on Adult Unemployment in the NCDS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F626-53, November.
  17. Åslund, Olof & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2003. "Do when and where matter? Initial labor market conditions and immigrant earnings," Working Paper Series 2003:7, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  18. Burgess, Simon & Propper, Carol & Rees, Hedley & Shearer, Arran, 2003. "The class of 1981: the effects of early career unemployment on subsequent unemployment experiences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 291-309, June.
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