Landing The First Job: The Value of Intermediaries in Online Hiring
Online markets for remote labor services allow workers and firms to contract with each other directly. Despite this, intermediaries - called outsourcing agencies - have emerged in these markets. This paper shows that agencies signal to employers that inexperienced workers are high quality. Workers affiliated with an agency have substantially higher job-finding probabilities and wages at the beginning of their careers compared to similar workers without an agency affiliation. This advantage declines after high-quality non-affiliated workers receive good public feedback scores. The results indicate that intermediaries have arisen endogenously to permit a more efficient allocation of workers to jobs.
28 November 2014 Paper Number CEPDP1316
This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Growth programme.