Does Searching Broader Improve Job Prospects? - Evidence from variations of online search.

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 12.05.2015, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Michèle Belot (European University Institute)


We investigate experimentally the effects of a web-based information intervention on employment prospects. We invited 300 job seekers to search for jobs in our computer facilities at the University of Edinburgh for 12 consecutive weekly sessions. They searched for real jobs using our web interface. After 3 weeks, we introduced a manipulation of the interface for half of the sample. The manipulation consisted of providing suggestions of alternative occupations to consider, based on the profile of the job seeker. These suggestions were made using background information from readily available labour market transitions data. We find that such an intervention affects job search behaviour. For job seekers who are searching relatively narrowly, the intervention broadens their search and significantly improves their job interviews. This applies especially to those with several months of unemployment duration.

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