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Interviews and the Assignment of Workers to Jobs

  • Ronald Wolthoff

    (University of Toronto)

  • Benjamin Lester

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

This paper studies the effect of screening costs on the equilibrium allocation of workers with different productivities to firms with different technologies. In the model, a worker's type is private information, but can be learned by the firm during a costly screening or interviewing process. We characterize the planner's problem in this environment and determine its solution. A firm may receive applications from workers with different productivities, but should in general not interview them all. Once a sufficiently good applicant has been found, the firm should instead make a hiring decision immediately. We show that the planner's solution can be decentralized if workers direct their search to contracts posted by firms. These contracts must include the wage that the firm promises to pay to a worker of a particular type, as well as a hiring policy which indicates which types of workers will be hired immediately, and which types will lead the firm to keep interviewing additional applicants.

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File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2012/paper_631.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 631.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:631
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htmEmail:


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  1. Jan Eeckhout & Philipp Kircher, 2010. "Sorting and decentralized price competition," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29705, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. 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.
  3. Shi, Shouyong, 2002. "A Directed Search Model of Inequality with Heterogeneous Skills and Skill-Based Technology," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(2), pages 467-91, April.
  4. Shi, Shouyong, 2001. "Frictional Assignment. I. Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 232-260, June.
  5. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
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