Can Technology Promote Opportunity? Evidence From An Online Job Portal in Bangalore

Grants to Support Faculty Fellows' Research
Grant Year

Small firms in India often recruit workers through family networks. While these networks provide information on worker quality and the threat of social sanction, they may lower worker quality and restrict opportunity. Online job portals offer a mechanism to broaden access to labor market opportunities, but employers are often reluctant to trust those outside their networks. This research project investigates whether screening technologies can substitute for trust and address this labor market friction. Prior funding from the Kellogg Institute allowed us to offer online hiring services to over 1,500 small firms. Preliminary results suggest that firms change their hiring practices and have a strong demand for screening jobseekers. In this companion project, we investigate the value of screening on labor market outcomes for jobseekers. Specifically, we verify jobseeker identity and experimentally reveal them to employers. We are requesting funds to conduct surveys of 2,200 jobseekers to understand how screening affects the labor market outcomes of jobseekers.