Till Von Wachter

First name
Till
Last name
Von Wachter
Abstract

We use an audit study approach to investigate how unemployment duration, age,
and holding a low-level "interim" job affect the likelihood that experienced college-
educated females applying for an administrative support job receive a callback from a potential employer. First, the results show no relationship between callback rates and the duration of unemployment. Second, workers age 50 and older are significantly less likely to receive a callback. Third, taking an interim job significantly reduces the likelihood of receiving a callback. Finally, employers who have higher callback rates respond less to observable differences across workers in determining whom to call back. We interpret these results in the context of a model of employer learning about applicant quality.

Year of Publication
2015
Number
592
Date Published
10/2015
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
9249
Farber, H., Silverman, D., & Von Wachter, T. (2015). Factors Determining Callbacks to Job Applications by the Unemployed: An Audit Study. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp019019s485g (Original work published 10/2015AD)
Working Papers
Abstract

We use a massive, matched employer-employee database for the United States to analyze the contribution of firms to the rise in earnings inequality from 1978 to 2013. We find that one-third of the rise in the variance of (log) earnings occurred within firms, whereas two-thirds of the rise occurred between firms. However, this rising between-firm variance is not accounted for by the firms themselves: the firm-related rise in the variance can be decomposed into two roughly equally important forces -- a rise in the sorting of high-wage workers to high-wage firms and a rise in the segregation of similar workers between firms. In contrast, we do not find a rise in the variance of firm-specific pay once we control for worker composition. Instead, we see a substantial rise in dispersion of person-specific pay, accounting for 68% of rising inequality, potentially due to rising returns to skill. The rise in between-firm variance, mostly due to worker sorting and segregation, accounted for a particularly large share of the total increase in inequality in smaller and medium firms (explaining 84% for firms with fewer than 10,000 employees). In contrast, in the very largest firms with 10,000+ employees, 42% of the increase in the variance of earnings took place within firms, driven by both declines in earnings for employees below the median and a substantial rise in earnings for the 10% best-paid employees. However, because of their small number, the contribution of the very top 50 or so earners at large firms to the
overall increase in within-firm earnings inequality is small.

Year of Publication
2018
Number
618
Date Published
04/2018
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
10501
Von Wachter, T., Song, J., Price, D., Guvenen, F., & Bloom, N. (2018). Firming Up Inequality. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01p2676z23z (Original work published 04/2018AD)
Working Papers
Abstract

We use a resume audit study to better understand the role of employment and unemployment histories in affecting callbacks to job applications. We focus on how the effect of career history varies by age, partly in an attempt to reconcile disparate findings in prior studies. While we cannot reconcile earlier findings on the effect of unemployment duration, the findings solidify an emerging consensus on the role of age and employment on callback. First, among applicants across a broad age range, we find that applicants with 52 weeks of unemployment have a lower callback rate than do applicants with shorter unemployment spells. However, regardless of an applicant's age, there is no relationship between spell length and callback among applicants with shorter spells. Second, we find a hump-shaped relationship between age and callback, with both younger and older applicants having a lower probability of callback relative to prime-aged applicants. Finally, we find that those applicants who are employed at the time of application have a lower callback rate than do unemployed applicants, regardless of whether the interim job is of lower or comparable quality relative to the
applied-for job. This may reflect a perception among employers that it is harder or more expensive to attract an applicant who is currently employed.

Year of Publication
2018
Number
619
Date Published
05/2018
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
10511
Farber, H., Silverman, D., Von Wachter, T., & Herbst, C. (2018). Whom Do Employers Want? The Role of Recent Employment and Unemployment Status and Age. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01mp48sg464 (Original work published 05/2018AD)
Working Papers