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Does Information Help or Hinder Job Applicants from Less Developed Countries in Online Markets?

Author

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  • Ajay K. Agrawal
  • Nicola Lacetera
  • Elizabeth Lyons

Abstract

Online markets reduce certain transaction costs related to global outsourcing. We focus on the role of verified work experience information in affecting online hiring decisions. Prior research shows that additional information about job applicants may disproportionately help or hinder disadvantaged populations. Using data from a major online contract labor platform, we find that contractors from less developed countries (LDCs) are disadvantaged relative to those from developed countries (DCs) in terms of their likelihood of being hired. However, we also find that although verified experience information increases the likelihood of being hired for all applicants, this effect is disproportionately large for LDC contractors. The LDC experience premium applies to other outcomes as well (wage bids, obtaining an interview, being shortlisted). Moreover, it is stronger for experienced employers, suggesting that learning is required to interpret this information. Finally, other platform tools (e.g., monitoring) partially substitute for the LDC experience premium; this provides additional support for the interpretation that the effect is due to information about experience rather than skills acquired from experience. We discuss implications for the geography of production and public policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Ajay K. Agrawal & Nicola Lacetera & Elizabeth Lyons, 2013. "Does Information Help or Hinder Job Applicants from Less Developed Countries in Online Markets?," NBER Working Papers 18720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18720
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Erik Brynjolfsson & Yu (Jeffrey) Hu & Duncan Simester, 2011. "Goodbye Pareto Principle, Hello Long Tail: The Effect of Search Costs on the Concentration of Product Sales," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(8), pages 1373-1386, August.
    2. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "Evidence of ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labor market using experimental data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 716-729, August.
    3. Chrysanthos Dellarocas, 2003. "The Digitization of Word of Mouth: Promise and Challenges of Online Feedback Mechanisms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(10), pages 1407-1424, October.
    4. Sanjeev Dewan & Vernon Hsu, 2004. "Adverse Selection In Electronic Markets: Evidence From Online Stamp Auctions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 497-516, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350.
    7. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2000. "Reputation Effects and the Limits of Contracting: A Study of the Indian Software Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 989-1017.
    8. Dellarocas, Chrysanthos, 2003. "The Digitization of Word-of-mouth: Promise and Challenges of Online Feedback Mechanisms," Working papers 4296-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    9. David H. Autor, 2001. "Wiring the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 25-40, Winter.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John J. Horton & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 2016. "The Causes of Peer Effects in Production: Evidence from a Series of Field Experiments," NBER Working Papers 22386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Vera Brenčič, 2016. "The impact of Craigslist’s entry on competing employment websites," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-15, December.
    3. Jaime DE MELO & Marcelo OLARREAGA, 2017. "Trade Related Institutions and Development," Working Papers P199, FERDI.
    4. Matthew Groh & David McKenzie & Nour Shammout & Tara Vishwanath, 2015. "Testing the importance of search frictions and matching through a randomized experiment in Jordan," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-20, December.
    5. Ajay Agrawal & John Horton & Nicola Lacetera & Elizabeth Lyons, 2015. "Digitization and the Contract Labor Market: A Research Agenda," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy, pages 219-250 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Cristiano Codagnone & Fabienne Abadie & Federico Biagi, 2016. "The Future of Work in the ‘Sharing Economy’. Market Efficiency and Equitable Opportunities or Unfair Precarisation?," JRC Working Papers JRC101280, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    7. Estrella Gomez-Herrera & Bertin Martens & Frank Muller-Langer, 2017. "Trade, competition and welfare in global online labour markets: A "gig economy" case study," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2017-05, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    8. Kevin Yili Hong & Alex Chong Wang & Paul A. Pavlou, 2013. "How does Bid Visibility Matter in Buyer-Determined Auctions? Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions in Online Labor Markets," Working Papers 13-05, NET Institute.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F01 - International Economics - - General - - - Global Outlook
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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