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Keywords: Online job search, Applications, Search frictions, Unemployment, On-the-job search, Networks.
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search is generally described by an intensive effort margin such as the number
of applications sent or of hours devoted. Using rich online job board data and
a novel network method to determine relevant sets of ads for each applicant, we
also investigate the job search selective margin, i.e. why workers apply to or forgo
job offers. We provide a comprehensive catalogue of search behavior. Gender and
age affect the intensive search margin: males and older workers search more
controlling for observable ad and worker traits. For the selective margin, we
find that the alignment between applicant wage expectations and wage offers, as
well as the applicant fit into ad requirements such as education, experience,
job location, and occupation increase the application likelihood. On-the-job
searchers and males seem more ambitious as they apply to jobs offering wages
above their expectations and to jobs requiring more education than they
possess. In contrast, unemployed seekers seem conservative: they comply to wage
offers and apply to jobs for which they are overqualified. As workers age, or
as their unemployment duration or elapsed tenure (for the employed) increase,
they tend to make seeking behavior less ambitious and more flexible in terms of
requirements compliance. Seekersí effort is procyclical, except for the jobless
when the unemployment rate is pretty high. Comparatively, the selective margin
varies less over the cycle. Our empirical evidence can help discipline current
and future search-theoretical frameworks.
JEL Codes: E24, J40, J64.