Overattention to First-Hand Experience in Hiring Decisions: Evidence from Professional Basketball

65 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2019

See all articles by michael dalton

michael dalton

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Peter Landry

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Date Written: July 8, 2019

Abstract

We provide evidence from the market for NBA basketball players that employers' hiring decisions rely too heavily on first-hand experiences with job candidates. Specifically, we find that employers are biased in favor of acquiring players with better-than-usual performances when the employer’s team was playing or preparing to play the player’s original team. Our estimates imply that performance information receives approximately 1.8 times more weight in hiring decisions if it is conveyed through first-hand experience. According to our simulations, such "overattention" leads to a 2.3% rate of mismatch between employers and workers.

Suggested Citation

dalton, michael and Landry, Peter, Overattention to First-Hand Experience in Hiring Decisions: Evidence from Professional Basketball (July 8, 2019). Rotman School of Management Working Paper No. 3416507, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3416507 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3416507

Michael Dalton

Bureau of Labor Statistics ( email )

2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20212
United States

Peter Landry (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

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