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Kurt, DeLoach publish paper in Journal of Labor Research

The economics professors’ paper provides the first direct evidence for a broad class of economic models hypothesizing that mismatched workers are more likely to search on-the-job. 

Mark Kurt, associate professor of economics and director of the Elon Business Dual Degree program, and Steve DeLoach, chair and professor of economics, recently published a paper in the Journal of Labor Research.

Dr. Mark Kurt (left) and Dr. Steve DeLoach

The paper, “On-the-Job Search, Mismatch and Worker Heterogeneity,” uses detailed time-use data of full-time workers in the United States between 2003 and 2016. The authors find that those most likely to search for new jobs are workers who are: (1) under-paid relative to their expected wage for their education and experience; (2) over-educated relative to their current occupation (so-called mismatched workers); and (3) highly-paid but mismatched in their current position. The paper provides the first direct evidence for a broad class of economic models hypothesizing that mismatched workers are more likely to search on-the-job.

The paper builds on the authors’ previous work on the search behavior of the unemployed. One important implication of on-the-job search is that it helps explain why the official unemployment rate declines so slowly following recessions. For example, when firms began to hire after the Great Recession, employed workers joined the unemployed in competing for new positions. This behavior of employed workers not only increases the competition among workers for new jobs, but also increases job turnover. 

The Journal of Labor Research provides an outlet for original research on all aspects of behavior affecting labor market outcomes, as well as a forum for both empirical and theoretical research on the U.S. and international labor markets, and labor/employment issues.

Nicole Filippo,
Staff
6/7/2018 11:15 AM