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Sick and tell: A field experiment analyzing the effects of an illness-related employment gap on the callback rate

Sheryll Namingit, William Blankenau () and Benjamin Schwab

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2021, vol. 185, issue C, 865-882

Abstract: Using a randomized audit study design, we find that the job callback rate for applicants with a long, illness-related employment gap caused by cancer is lower than that of the newly unemployed but significantly higher than those whose employment gap is unexplained. Our results suggest that a credible explanation of an employment gap can substantially reduce its scarring effect and that workers with a previous illness do not face a uniquely large rehiring penalty. While previous research shows that jobless spells reduce employment prospects, our results and model provide new insight into the signalling process underlying those findings.

Keywords: Unemployment scarring; Employment gap; Correspondence study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J23 J60 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2020.09.033

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:185:y:2021:i:c:p:865-882