December 2022

IZA DP No. 15830: The Direct and Indirect Effects of Online Job Search Advice

We study how online job search advice affects the job search strategies and labor market outcomes of unemployed workers. In a large-scale field experiment, we provide job seekers with vacancy information and occupational recommendations through an online dashboard. A clustered randomization procedure with regionally varying treatment intensities allows us to account for treatment spillovers. Our results show that online advice is highly effective when the share of treated workers is relatively low: in regions where less than 50% of job seekers are exposed to the treatment, working hours and earnings of treated job seekers increase by 8.5–9.5% in the year after the intervention. At the same time, we find substantial negative spillovers on other treated job seekers for higher treatment intensities, resulting from increased competition between treated job seekers who apply for similar vacancies.