Encouraging and Directing Job Search: Direct and Spillover Effects in a Large Scale Experiment

51 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2022

See all articles by Luc Behaghel

Luc Behaghel

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Sofia Dromundo Mokrani

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Marc Gurgand

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS); National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST)

Yagan Hazard

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST)

Thomas Zuber

Banque de France

Date Written: December 2022

Abstract

We analyze the employment effects of directing job seekers' applications towards establishments likely to recruit, building upon an existing Internet platform developed by the French public employment service. Our two-sided randomization design, with about 1.2 million job seekers and 100,000 establishments, allows us to measure precisely the effects of the recommender system at hand. Our randomized encouragement to use the system induces a 2% increase in job finding rates among women. This effect is due to an activation effect (increased search effort, stronger for women than men), but also to a targeting effect by which treated men and women were more likely to be hired by the firms that were specifically recommended to them. In a second step, we analyze whether these partial equilibrium effects translate into positive effects on aggregate employment. Drawing on the recent literature on the econometrics of interference effects, we estimate that by redirecting the search effort of some job seekers outside their initial job market, we reduced congestion in slack markets.

Estimates suggest that this effect is only partly offset by the increased competition in initially tight markets, so that the intervention increases aggregate job finding rates.

Keywords: Search and Matching, Occupational Mobility, Displacement Effects

JEL Classification: E24, J60, J62, J64

Suggested Citation

Behaghel, Luc and Dromundo Mokrani, Sofia and Gurgand, Marc and Hazard, Yagan and Zuber, Thomas, Encouraging and Directing Job Search: Direct and Spillover Effects in a Large Scale Experiment (December 2022). Banque de France Working Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4312114 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4312114

Luc Behaghel (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Sofia Dromundo Mokrani

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

Marc Gurgand

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) ( email )

3, rue Michel-Ange
Paris cedex 16, 75794
France

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST)

15 Boulevard Gabriel Peri
Malakoff Cedex, 1 92245
France

Yagan Hazard

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST)

Thomas Zuber

Banque de France ( email )

Paris
France

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