Title

Do Jobseekers Value Diversity Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment

Publication Date

2-9-2022

Abstract

We examine how information about the diversity of a potential employer’s workforce affects individuals’ job-seeking behavior, and whether workers’ preferences explain corporate disclosure decisions. We embed a field experiment in job recommendation emails sent from a leading career advice agency in the U.S. The experimental treatment involves highlighting a diversity metric to jobseekers. Studying 267,494 unique jobseekers, we find that disclosing diversity scores in job postings increases the click-through rate of jobseekers for firms with higher diversity scores. These effects are more pronounced for female and entry-level jobseekers. We estimate that jobseekers update their willingness to pay (WTP) for a firm’s diversity by $1,463 when faced with a 10% increase in diversity scores relative to the interquartile range. We conduct a follow-up survey with jobseekers to better understand why diversity information was useful to them. Finally, we document that firms in industries characterized by higher jobseeker responsiveness to diversity information tend to voluntarily disclosure diversity metrics in their 10-Ks under new SEC disclosure requirements. That is, disclosure choices partially reflect ‘jobseeker materiality.’ Overall, our findings generate important insights regarding jobseekers’ demand for diversity information.

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Diversity, Job Search, Disclosure, Field Experiment

Disciplines

Accounting

DOI

10.2139/ssrn.4025383

Source

SMU Cox: Accounting (Topic)

Language

English

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