...top of page

Working paper 699

Xiaoming Cai, Pieter Gautier, Ronald Wolthoff, "Search, Screening and Sorting", 2021-06-18
Main Text (application/pdf) (764,675 bytes)

Abstract: We investigate the effect of search frictions on labor market sorting by constructing a model which is in line with recent evidence that employers collect a pool of applicants before interviewing a subset of them. In this environment, we derive the necessary and sufficient conditions for sorting in applications as well as matches. We show that positive sorting is obtained when production complementarities outweigh a force against sorting measured by a quality-quantity elasticity. Interestingly, we find that the required degree of production complementarity for positive sorting is increasing in the number of interviews: it ranges from square-root-supermodularity if each firm can interview a single applicant to log-supermodularity if each firm can interview all its applicants.

Keywords: sorting, complementarity, search frictions, information frictions, heterogeneity

JEL Classification: D82; D83; E24