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This paper examines how four components of the job search process--the choice of search methods, the choice of how many firms to contact, the rate at which offers are received, and the acceptance or rejection of an offer--influence the job-finding rate. A reduced-form model of job search is estimated that takes account of the fact that users of a particular method of job search are not a random subset of all searchers. The empirical analysis focuses on differences in search behavior between the employed and unemployed. A key finding of the analysis is that the offer rate per contact is greater for employed searchers than for unemployed searchers. This may be due to differences in the effectiveness of search while employed versus unemployed or to unobserved differences in search effort. Further research on this issue is needed because many models of job search behavior are based on the assumption that job search is more effective when one is unemployed.


The following article appeared in Journal of Political Economy 98:3 (June 1990) Pages: 637-655. Copyright © 1990 by The University of Chicago Press. The original publication is available at