Academic Literature

Long-Term unemployed – A sharp drop-off in the number of interview requests for those whose nonemployment spell topped six months finds research

Three recent audit studies on nonemployment discrimination report results consistent with the long-term jobless having significantly lower chances of being invited to job interviews. Given the design of previous studies unfavorable treatment can be due to a marginal preference among employers for hiring applicants with shorter spells or to stronger negative beliefs about the long-term nonemployed.

Using a résumé audit study, I explore the extent to which employers become forgiving of longer nonemployment spells when other merits appear on an applicant’s résumé: in this case relevant work experience.

Responses indicate a strong distaste for applicants with long spells of nonemployment—even in a situation characterized by observationally superior résumés in comparison to applicants with short nonemployment spells.

The findings reveal a sharp drop-off in the number of interview requests for those whose nonemployment spell topped six months, implying that those experiencing long job- less spells might become trapped in nonemployment, regardless of their prior experience. To interpret the findings, a nonstationary job search model under duration-dependent un- employment benefits and endogenous job search intensity is constructed. It is shown that in the spirit of Lockwood (1991), the model can generate a unique equilibrium for plausi- ble parameter values, with unemployment benefits expiration date becoming a focal point around which job search intensifies and employer screening becomes optimal.

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Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The Jobless Trap 


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