Information About Congestion Redirects Job Search
We report the results of several large field experiments conducted on an online job platform.
Job-seekers were given information about the age of the vacancy and the number of other applicants per-vacancy.
What information was shown---and how salient it was made in the job search interface---varied across treatment groups and experiments.
Consistent with searchers using age as a proxy for the returns to applying, removing the age of the job vacancy caused a 1.8% decrease in applications and a 4.8% decrease in applications to jobs with no or few jobs.
Information about which jobs had no or few applicants led to increases in applications to those jobs ranging from .9% to 6.4% across experiments.
This increase did not fully crowd out applications to vacancies with more prior applicants and resulted in applications similar in quality to the control applications. As a result, the information likely increased market efficiency.