Getting a Job
Friday, Jan. 5, 2024 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (CST)
- Chair: Viviana Rodriguez, University of Texas-San Antonio
Examining the Reasons for the Relative Improvement in the Labor Market for People with Disabilities
AbstractPrior to COVID-19, people with disabilities had experienced persistent, large disparities in labor force participation rates and employment-population ratios, since the current definitions were introduced into the Current Population Survey in 2008, as with earlier research before the introduction of the current disability questions. The initial impact of COVID-19 on employment was similar for people with and without disabilities. Following the initial recovery in 2020, however, the improvement for people with disability has been more rapid, so that the gaps in these labor market statistics have fallen to their lowest since the introduction of the current disability questions in 2008.
This paper explores possible reasons for the faster improvement for people with disabilities in the COVID and post-COVID environment. Controlling for change in demographic and other characteristics over time confirms that the relative improvement in the labor market for people with disabilities is real and persistent. Teleworkability and “contact intensity” of specific occupations are identified as a source of differing impacts on employment from the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore improved opportunities for telework in general are investigated as a factor in creating better employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Also utilized are the supplemental CPS questions on the impact of COVID-19, as well as the CPS biennial January supplement to examine changes in job tenure from January 2020 to January 2022. Moreover, the panel nature of the CPS is exploited to match individuals across the eight months in which they might appear in the survey, enabling calculation of transitions between employment, unemployment, and non-participation and therefore analysis of how this changed over the last several years. Findings suggest that expansion of employer flexibilities, including telework, has been a key factor in the relative improvement in the labor market for people with disabilities.
The Role of Social Connections in Getting a Job: Hiring Your Friends or Spreading Information?
AbstractSocial connections have long been recognized as important determinants of job search outcomes, but the mechanisms through which they operate remain unclear. Do social connections help workers because they make it easier to be hired when applying? Do they help workers locate relevant jobs to apply for? Or do they help simply because they encourage workers to apply more? This paper combines a novel research design and unique Danish administrative data on applied-for jobs to investigate the mechanisms linking social connections and job search outcomes.
For each UI recipients in our analysis, we identify both a set of connected workers that they worked with in the past and a set of unconnected workers that they narrowly failed to work with previously due to the exact timing of past job transitions. We then compare the likelihood of applying to and ending up at the current firms of these two groups of workers to identify the causal effects of social connections. A range of covariate balance and placebo tests substantiate the validity of the research design.
Being connected to a firm - in the sense of having a past coworker working there - increases the likelihood of ending up employed at that firm by 10%. Using data on job applications, we show that about half of this effect reflects that workers are more likely to apply to firms where they have social connections. The other half of the effect reflects that workers are more likely to be hired when applying at a connected firm, consistent with the use of referral information in hiring. Finally, using information on how workers found the jobs they apply for, we show that most of the increased likelihood of applying in fact reflects that workers learn about the existence of vacant jobs through their social connections.
Worker-Firm Matching over the Career
AbstractWhile the importance of worker-firm matching for wage inequality has been studied intensively, less is known about the role it plays in life cycle wage growth. In this paper, we examine the development of worker-firm matching over the career. Using administrative data covering the universe of German employees, we apply an AKM wage decomposition and show that workers and firms are matched assortatively, meaning that workers of a specific quality tend to work at firms of a similar quality. By developing a novel measure that allows computing the degree of assortative matching at an individual level, we show that the degree of assortative matching increases over the career. This indicates that job mobility is linked to a higher degree of assortative worker-firm matching. Further, we find that low-quality workers display, on average, a lower degree of assortative matching compared to high-quality workers. Starting with the fourth job, they are matched with firms of a more similar quality, while this is the case from the first job for high-quality workers. This is due to the finding that at the beginning of the career, all workers, independently of their quality, try to reach high-quality firms. Yet, this only results in assortative matches for high-quality workers.
Making the Invisible Hand Visible: Managers and the Allocation of Workers to Jobs
AbstractWhy do managers matter for firm performance? This paper provides evidence of the critical role of managers in matching workers to jobs within the firm using the universe of personnel records from a large multinational firm. The data covers 200,000 white-collar workers and 30,000 managers over 10 years in 100 countries. I identify good managers as the top 30% by their speed of promotion and leverage exogenous variation induced by the rotation of managers across teams. I find that good managers cause workers to reallocate within the firm through lateral and vertical transfers. This leads to large and persistent gains in workers’ career progression and productivity. Seven years after the manager transition, workers earn 30% more and perform better on objective performance measures. In terms of aggregate firm productivity, doubling the share of good managers would increase output per worker by 61% at the establishment level. My results imply that the visible hands of managers match workers’ specific skills to specialized jobs, leading to an improvement in the productivity of existing workers that outlasts the managers’ time at the firm.
- J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers