Factors Determining Callbacks to Job Applications by the Unemployed: An Audit Study

48 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2015

See all articles by Henry S. Farber

Henry S. Farber

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Dan Silverman

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Economics Department; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Till von Wachter

Columbia Business School - Economics Department; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

We use an audit study approach to investigate how unemployment duration, age, and holding a low-level "interim" job affect the likelihood that experienced college- educated females applying for an administrative support job receive a callback from a potential employer. First, the results show no relationship between callback rates and the duration of unemployment. Second, workers age 50 and older are significantly less likely to receive a callback. Third, taking an interim job significantly reduces the likelihood of receiving a callback. Finally, employers who have higher callback rates respond less to observable differences across workers in determining whom to call back. We interpret these results in the context of a model of employer learning about applicant quality.

Keywords: audit study, unemployment duration, interim job, age discrimination

JEL Classification: J64

Suggested Citation

Farber, Henry S. and Silverman, Dan and von Wachter, Till, Factors Determining Callbacks to Job Applications by the Unemployed: An Audit Study. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9465. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2684295

Henry S. Farber (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

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Dan Silverman

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Till Von Wachter

Columbia Business School - Economics Department ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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