A Randomized Experiment on Matching Unemployed Workers and Employer
Lennart Ziegler (University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam)
Abstract: Can employment agencies help job seekers to find suitable work? To analyze the effectiveness of a novel job search assistance program in the Netherlands, we conduct a randomized field experiment on organized job talks between job searchers and employment agencies. Using a combination of administrative and survey data, we estimate the impact on job finding rates, re-employment quality and job search behavior. The results show that treated participants are significantly more likely to leave unemployment. Moreover, we find that the intervention decreases reservation wages and increases motivation of job searchers.
The Remuneration of Financial Advisors in Markets for Complex Products
Jurre Thiel (VU University Amsterdam)
Abstract: I develop a search-theoretic model to explain the number of advisors in retail financial markets. When advisors are remunerated through kickbacks, more advisors enter when firms have a larger incentive to obfuscate (increase search costs). Thus, the intuitive link that advisors are more prevalent in more “complex” markets arises endogenously. Even though advisors facilitate consumer search, their entry can (but need not) lower consumer welfare. However, as in the long-run free entry equilibrium there will generally be fewer advisors when kickbacks are banned than when they are not, banning such kickbacks may ultimately harm consumers.