IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/22508.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Opening the Black Box of the Matching Function: the Power of Words

Author

Listed:
  • Ioana Marinescu
  • Ronald Wolthoff

Abstract

How do employers attract the right workers? How important are posted wages vs. other job characteristics? Using data from the leading job board CareerBuilder.com, we show that most vacancies do not post wages, and, for those that do, job titles explain more than 90% of the wage variance. Job titles also explain more than 80% of the across-vacancies variance in the education and experience of applicants. Finally, failing to control for job titles leads to a spurious negative elasticity of labor supply. Thus, our results uncover the previously undocumented power of words in the job matching process.

Suggested Citation

  • Ioana Marinescu & Ronald Wolthoff, 2016. "Opening the Black Box of the Matching Function: the Power of Words," NBER Working Papers 22508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22508
    Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w22508.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
    2. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    3. Vera Brenčič, 2012. "Wage posting: evidence from job ads," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1529-1559, November.
    4. Galenianos, Manolis & Kircher, Philipp, 2009. "Directed search with multiple job applications," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 445-471, March.
    5. Susana Iranzo & Fabiano Schivardi & Elisa Tosetti, 2008. "Skill Dispersion and Firm Productivity: An Analysis with Employer-Employee Matched Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 247-285, April.
    6. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    7. Ernesto Dal Bó & Frederico Finan & Martín A. Rossi, 2013. "Strengthening State Capabilities: The Role of Financial Incentives in the Call to Public Service," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1169-1218.
    8. Marinescu, Ioana, 2017. "The general equilibrium impacts of unemployment insurance: Evidence from a large online job board," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 14-29.
    9. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    10. R. Jason Faberman & Guido Menzio, 2016. "Evidence on the Relationship between Recruiting and Starting Wage," NBER Working Papers 22915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Woodcock, Simon D., 2015. "Match effects," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 100-121.
    12. Jan Eeckhout & Philipp Kircher, 2010. "Sorting and Decentralized Price Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 539-574, March.
    13. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
    14. Marianna Kudlyak & Jason Faberman, 2014. "The Intensity of Job Search and Search Duration," 2014 Meeting Papers 306, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas I. Mueller, 2016. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Reservation Wages," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 142-179, February.
    16. Vera Brenčič & John B. Norris, 2012. "Employers' On‐Line Recruitment And Screening Practices," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(1), pages 94-111, January.
    17. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    18. Peter Kuhn & Kailing Shen, 2013. "Gender Discrimination in Job Ads: Evidence from China," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 287-336.
    19. Robert E. Hall & Alan B. Krueger, 2012. "Evidence on the Incidence of Wage Posting, Wage Bargaining, and On-the-Job Search," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 56-67, October.
    20. Barron, John M & Bishop, John & Dunkelberg, William C, 1985. "Employer Search: The Interviewing and Hiring of New Employees," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 43-52, February.
    21. Yashiv, Eran, 2007. "Labor search and matching in macroeconomics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1859-1895, November.
    22. Guido Menzio, 2007. "A Theory of Partially Directed Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 748-769, October.
    23. Ioana Marinescu & Roland Rathelot, 2018. "Mismatch Unemployment and the Geography of Job Search," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 42-70, July.
    24. Woodcock, Simon D., 2008. "Wage differentials in the presence of unobserved worker, firm, and match heterogeneity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 771-793, August.
    25. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 515-535.
    26. Fane Groes & Philipp Kircher & Iourii Manovskii, 2015. "The U-Shapes of Occupational Mobility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 659-692.
    27. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-849, November.
    28. Mellow, Wesley & Sider, Hal, 1983. "Accuracy of Response in Labor Market Surveys: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 331-344, October.
    29. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-293, March.
    30. repec:oup:qjecon:v:128:y:2012:i:1:p:287-336 is not listed on IDEAS
    31. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2011. "Frictional Wage Dispersion in Search Models: A Quantitative Assessment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2873-2898, December.
    32. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009. "Occupational Mobility and Wage Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 731-759.
    33. Maxim Poletaev & Chris Robinson, 2008. "Human Capital Specificity: Evidence from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Displaced Worker Surveys, 1984-2000," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 387-420, July.
    34. Erica L. Groshen, 1991. "The Structure of the Female/Male Wage Differential: Is It Who You Are, What You Do, or Where You Work?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 457-472.
    35. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
    36. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 35-71, January.
    37. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    38. M. J. Andrews & L. Gill & T. Schank & R. Upward, 2008. "High wage workers and low wage firms: negative assortative matching or limited mobility bias?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 171(3), pages 673-697.
    39. Alan B. Krueger & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Reflections on the Inter-Industry Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 1968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    40. Harry J. Holzer & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "Job Queues and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 739-768.
    41. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-690, September.
    42. Shi, Shouyong, 2001. "Frictional Assignment. I. Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 232-260, June.
    43. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs in an Economy with Coordination Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 996-1025, October.
    44. Barron, John M & Black, Dan A & Loewenstein, Mark A, 1987. "Employer Size: The Implications for Search, Training, Capital Investment, Starting Wages, and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 76-89, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jung, Philip & Kuhn, Moritz, 2012. "Earnings losses and labor mobility over the life-cycle," MPRA Paper 40287, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Belot, Michele & Kircher, Philipp & Muller, Paul, 2015. "Providing Advice to Job Seekers at Low Cost: An Experimental Study on On-Line Advice," Working Papers in Economics 637, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:aea:aejmac:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:42-70 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Azar, José & Marinescu, Ioana E. & Steinbaum, Marshall & Taska, Bledi, 2018. "Concentration in US Labor Markets: Evidence from Online Vacancy Data," IZA Discussion Papers 11379, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. 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.
    7. David Deming & Lisa B. Kahn, 2018. "Skill Requirements across Firms and Labor Markets: Evidence from Job Postings for Professionals," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 337-369.
    8. Faberman, R. Jason & Kudlyak, Marianna, 2016. "What Does Online Job Search Tell Us about the Labor Market?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue 1, pages 1-15.
    9. Paolo Martellini & Guido Menzio, 2018. "Declining Search Frictions, Unemployment and Growth," NBER Working Papers 24518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Tara Sinclair & Mariano Mamertino, 2018. "Migration and Online Job Search: A Gravity Model Approach," Working Papers 2018-3, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    11. Peter A. Diamond & Aysegül Sahin, 2016. "Disaggregating the Matching Function," CESifo Working Paper Series 6266, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Schiprowski, Amelie, 2017. "The Role of Caseworkers in Unemployment Insurance: Evidence from Unplanned Absences," IZA Discussion Papers 11040, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. repec:eee:labeco:v:50:y:2018:i:c:p:67-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. R. Jason Faberman & Guido Menzio, 2016. "Evidence on the Relationship between Recruiting and Starting Wage," NBER Working Papers 22915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. 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.
    16. Modestino, Alicia Sasser & Shoag, Daniel & Ballance, Joshua, 2016. "Downskilling: changes in employer skill requirements over the business cycle," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 333-347.
    17. Guerrieri, Veronica & Julien, Benoit & Kircher, Philipp & Wright, Randall, 2017. "Directed Search: A Guided Tour," CEPR Discussion Papers 12315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Kevin Fawcett & Shouyong Shi, 2018. "Learning, On-the-Job Search and Wage-Tenure Contracts," Working Papers tecipa-597, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    19. Faberman, R. Jason & Kudlyak, Marianna, 2014. "The Intensity of Job Search and Search Duration," Working Paper 14-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    20. Ioana Marinescu & Roland Rathelot, 2018. "Mismatch Unemployment and the Geography of Job Search," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 42-70, July.
    21. José Azar & Ioana Marinescu & Marshall I. Steinbaum, 2017. "Labor Market Concentration," NBER Working Papers 24147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Del Carpio, Lucia & Guadalupe, Maria, 2018. "More Women in Tech? Evidence from a field experiment addressing social identity," CEPR Discussion Papers 13234, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    23. 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.
    24. Del Carpio, Lucía & Guadalupe, Maria, 2018. "More Women in Tech? Evidence from a Field Experiment Addressing Social Identity," IZA Discussion Papers 11876, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    25. Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw & Christopher T. Stanton, 2016. "Who Gets Hired? The Importance of Finding an Open Slot," NBER Working Papers 22202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22508. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.