Feedback, Overconfidence and Job Search
with Marc Witte ((VU Amsterdam)
Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)
Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette / Belval
LISER Salle de Conference, 1st Floor
02:00 pm
03:15 pm
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Job seekers face uncertainty about their abilities, and whether these match with job requirements. Such uncertainty may result in sub-optimal job search outcomes and job matches. We conduct a field experiment among job seekers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Participants underwent a skill assessment and were asked about their willingness to pay (WTP) for information about their relative performance on a test of general intelligence. WTP is positive for about 80 percent of the population, and is associated with gender and personality. Feedback provision leads individuals to update their beliefs which only persists for individuals with low WTP. We provide evidence that suggests imperfect recall as potential mechanism for the lack of persistence. Feedback increases job search intensity but relatively lower for initially overconfident individuals and those with negative or zero WTP, which results in lower realized wages for these groups. The heterogeneity in belief updating, recall and job search behavior is consistent with some overconfident job seekers being unable to forget information and, thus, to maintain motivated beliefs, but being sophisticated about this inability to forget.


More about the 3E DTU

The Doctoral Training Unit (DTU) 3E - Experiments, Ethics and Economics - consists of an interdisciplinary consortium of 9 social scientists who use scientific experiments involving human subjects in their research. The objective of the consortium is to create a formal link for collaboration across the three existing social science research laboratories in Luxembourg, with the aim to push forward the state-of-the-art of what we know about human behavior in economic interactions. The DTU 3E gathers members across 5 Luxembourgish research units:

(1) Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research LISER
(2) Institute for Health and Behavior IHB (Faculty of Humanities FLSHASE, University of Luxembourg UL)
(3) Institute of Cognitive Science and Assessment COSA (FLSHASE, UL)
(4) Luxembourg School of Finance LSF (Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance FDEF, UL)
(5) Luxembourg Centre of Logistics LCL (Economics Research Centre CREA, FDEF, UL)

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