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Searching for Jobs: Evidence from MBA Graduates


  • Kuhnen, Camelia M.


This paper proposes and tests empirically a model of optimal job search using novel data on job seeking strategies of participants in the labor market for MBA graduates. Theoretically and empirically I find that the breadth of search that workers conduct depends on their ability, outside option, and fit with available jobs, as well as on the exogenous job application cost and the ex-ante probability of applications resulting in offers. These results illustrate the formation of the supply of human capital available to hiring companies, which drives the efficiency of matching between workers and firms and ultimately determines productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuhnen, Camelia M., 2010. "Searching for Jobs: Evidence from MBA Graduates," MPRA Paper 21975, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21975

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philip Oreopoulos & Till von Wachter & Andrew Heisz, 2006. "The Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession: Hysteresis and Heterogeneity in the Market for College Graduates," NBER Working Papers 12159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hector Chade & Lones Smith, 2006. "Simultaneous Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1293-1307, September.
    3. Paul Oyer, 2006. "The Making of an Investment Banker: Macroeconomic Shocks, Career Choice, and Lifetime Income," NBER Working Papers 12059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ron Kaniel & Cade Massey & David T. Robinson, 2010. "The Importance of Being an Optimist: Evidence from Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 16328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. James Hines & Hilary Hoynes & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Another Look at Whether a Rising Tide Lifts All Boats," Working Papers 833, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
    7. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    8. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2005. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 681-724, October.
    9. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ron Kaniel & Cade Massey & David T. Robinson, 2010. "The Importance of Being an Optimist: Evidence from Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 16328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jennifer Brown & David A. Matsa, 2012. "Boarding a Sinking Ship? An Investigation of Job Applications to Distressed Firms," NBER Working Papers 18208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jeremy Schwartz, 2014. "The Job Search Intensity Supply Curve: How Labor Market Conditions Affect Job Search Effort," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 14-215, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    4. Kuhnen, Camelia M. & Oyer, Paul, 2012. "Exploration for human capital: Theory and evidence from the MBA labor market," MPRA Paper 39411, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    job search; matching; human capital; MBA education; career choice;

    JEL classification:

    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General

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