Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/209731
Authors: 
Cohn, Alain
Maréchal, Michel André
Schneider, Frédéric
Weber, Roberto A.
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
Working Paper 210
Abstract: 
We study whether employment history provides information about a worker's "work attitude," i.e., the tendency to act cooperatively and reliably in the workplace. We conjecture that, holding all else equal, frequent job changes can indicate poor work attitude and that this information is transmitted through employment histories. We find support for this hypothesis across three studies that employ complementary lab, field, and survey experiments, as well as in labor market panel data. First, a tightly controlled laboratory labor market experiment demonstrates that prior employment information allows employers to screen for reliable and cooperative workers and that these workers obtain better employment outcomes. Second, we conduct a field experiment that varies the frequency of job changes in applicants' resumes and find that those with fewer job changes receive substantially more callbacks from prospective employers. Third, a survey experiment with Human Resources professionals confirms that the resume manipulations in the field study create different perceptions of work attitude and that these largely account for the callback differences. Finally, we find evidence consistent with our hypothesized relationships in empirical labor market data. Our work highlights the potential importance of job history as a signal of work attitude in labor markets, and points to a potential cost of frequent job changes.
Subjects: 
employability
work attitude
job mobility
Beschäftigungsfähigkeit
Arbeitsplatzwechsel
berufliche Mobilität
Experiment
Umfrage
JEL: 
C90
C93
J01
E24
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size
644.05 kB





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.