This research studies the labor market consequences of two developments---the Internet and temporary employment agencies. The first project explores how the migration of job posting and candidate screening to the World Wide Web affects personnel outcomes using firm level data of a large national bank that will migrate all of its branches and occupations in phases to exclusively online recruiting in 2002 and 2003. This part of the research analyzes several issues including how the move to online recruiting shapes the quality of worker-firm matches and whether improvements in firm-level match quality due to online recruiting yields aggregate changes in the quality of matches and hence operation of labor markets.

The second part of the research studies hiring in temporary help sector. The temporary-help industry accounted for 10% of U.S. jobs created in the 1 990s. This is a major conduit by which less-skilled workers enter the labor market. This part of the research studies how the growth of temporary help intermediation affects labor market advancement of less-skilled workers. The first phase of the project explores how the choice of job search modality for a given worker--- temporary help agency versus direct-hire employment---impacts labor market progression.

The educational agenda of the proposal builds on these research components. The project develops a semester length graduate class under development that explores the consequences of technical change for the labor market. The course will be made available freely through MIT's OpenCourseWare Initiative (OCW), with partial support provided by OCW. The project will organize a two-day conference titled, "The Growth of Labor Market Intermediaries: Electronic and Terrestrial" to disseminate scholarship on the role of labor market intermediaries in the U.S. and abroad.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES)
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Nancy A. Lutz
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National Bureau of Economic Research Inc
United States
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