Research results


A. RESEARCH PROJECTS: PUBLICATIONS IN WEB OF SCIENCE JOURNALS


1. Pure Ethnic Gaps in Educational Attainment and School to Work Transitions: When Do They Arise?

1. Wanneer ontstaan etnische verschillen op school en arbeidsmarkt? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. In dit artikel worden de waargenomen verschillen in onderwijs- en eerste arbeidsmarktuitkomsten tussen Vlaamse en vreemde jongeren opgedeeld in een stuk verklaard door sociaal-economische achtergrond en een resterend 'zuiver etnisch' verschil. De drie belangrijkste bevindingen zijn de volgende. (1) De lagere sociale afkomst van allochtonen verklaart bijna volledig hun hogere kans om de school voortijdig te verlaten en hun lagere kans om hoger onderwijs aan te vatten. (2) Een heel ander beeld ontstaat wanneer men rekening houdt met de schoolvertraging die autochtonen en allochtonen oplopen. In dit geval spelen zuiver etnische verschillen wel een belangrijke rol: allochtonen zitten vaker over dan allochtonen, los van hun sociale afkomst. (3) Nog sterker is het zuiver etnische verschil op de arbeidsmarkt: sociale afkomst speelt amper nog een rol in de verklaring van de tragere overgang van school naar werk van allochtonen. Het zijn vooral zuiver etnische factoren die dit verklaren. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. ethnicity dynamic discrete choice labour education

Abstract. This article decomposes the observed gaps in educational attainment and school-to-work transitions in Belgium between grandchildren of natives and of women of "non-Western" nationality into (i) differences in observed family endowments and (ii) a residual "pure ethnic gap". It innovates by explicitly taking delays in educational attainment into account, by identifying the moments at which the pure ethnic gaps arise, by disentangling the decision to continue schooling at the end of a school year from the achievement within a particular grade, and by integrating the language spoken at home among observed family endowments. The pure ethnic gap in educational attainment is found to be small if delays are neglected, but substantial if not and for school-to-work transitions. It is shown that more than 20% of the pure ethnic gap in graduating from secondary school without delay originates in tenth grade. Language usage explains only part of the gap in school-to-work transitions for low educated.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Bart Cockx.

Downloads. Published in Economics of Education Review (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.07.006). A presentation is downloadable here.


2. Overeducation at the start of the career: Stepping stone or trap?

2. Eerste baan onder scholingsniveau: springplank of valkuil? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Deze studie gaat na in welke mate werkloze afgestudeerden die een baan onder hun scholingsniveau aanvaarden daarmee hun overgang naar een baan op hun scholingsniveau versnellen. We vinden dat overscholing eerder een valkuil is in dit opzicht. Bij het aanvaarden van een baan onder het scholingsniveau in plaats van als werkloze verder naar een geschikte baan te zoeken, verlaagt men zijn maandelijkse instroomkansen in een geschikte baan met 51 tot 98 procent. Voor meer dan de helft van de werkloze schoolverlaters die een job onder hun scholingsniveau aanvaarden, duurt het bijna tien jaar (!) vooraleer ze een job vinden op hun scholingsniveau. Op basis van simulaties tonen we aan dat, in het geval ze deze overscholing niet aanvaard hadden en verder hadden gezocht naar gepast werk, de helft van deze groep dit passend werk al binnen de drie maanden zou gevonden hebben. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. overeducation unemployment duration analysis labour education

Abstract. This study investigates whether young unemployed graduates who accept a job below their level of education accelerate or delay the transition into a job that matches their level of education. We adopt the Timing of Events approach to identify this dynamic treatment effect using monthly calendar data from a representative sample of Flemish (Belgian) youth who started searching for a job right after leaving formal education. We find that overeducation is a trap. By accepting a job for which one is overeducated rather than only accepting adequate job matches, monthly transition rates into adequate employment fall by 51-98%, depending on the elapsed unemployment duration. These findings challenge the career mobility thesis and imply that the short-term benefits of policies that generate quick transitions into employment must be traded-off against the long-term costs of an inadequate job match.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Bart Cockx and Prof. dr. Dieter Verhaest.

Downloads. Published in Labour Economics (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.labeco.2013.04.013). A presentation is downloadable here.


3. The Impact of Military Work Experience on Later Hiring Chances in the Civilian Labour Market. Evidence from a Field Experiment

3. Werkervaring bij het leger: plus- of minpunt op cv? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Deze studie gaat op een directe manier het effect van werkervaring hij het leger op het cv na. Daartoe worden fictieve jobapplicaties door individuen met twee jaar werkervaring uitgestuurd naar bestaande vacatures in Vlaanderen. Deze kandidaten verschillen enkel in de plaats waar zij hun werkervaring opdeden: in het leger of in een privébedrijf. Op basis van een statistische analyse blijkt het opgedaan hebben van de werkervaring bij het leger geen significant effect te hebben op de aanwervingskansen.

Tags. discrimination hiring fictitious job applications labour

Abstract. This study directly assesses the impact of military work experience compared with civilian work experience in similar jobs on the subsequent chances of being hired in the civilian labour market. It does so through a field experiment in the Belgian labour market. A statistical examination of our experimental dataset shows that in general we cannot reject that employers are indifferent to whether job candidates gained their experience in a civilian or a military environment.

Co-authors. Pieter Balcaen.

Downloads. Published in Economics E-journal (URL: http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/journalarticles/2013-37).


4. Better sexy than flexy? A lab experiment assessing the impact of perceived attractiveness and personality traits on hiring decisions

4. Spelen aantrekkelijkheid en persoonlijkheid een rol bij eerste aanwervingsbeslissingen? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. In dit onderzoek dienden deelnemers in de rol te kruipen van werkgevers en daarbij fictieve aanwervingbeslissingen te nemen omtrent fictieve jobkandidaten. Deze jobkandidaten verschilden in aantrekkelijkheid en de zogenaamde "big five" persoonlijkheidsdimensies: inschikkelijkheid, zorgvuldigheid, emotionele stabiliteit en openheid. Vooral aantrekkelijkheid en ingeschatte zorgvuldigheid blijken een belangrijke rol te spelen. Kandidaten die ervaren worden als beduidend aantrekkelijker of zorgvuldiger dan gemiddeld hebben ook beduidend meer kans om uitgenodigd te worden op een jobgesprek. Het belang van emotionele stabiliteit blijkt ongeveer de helft zo groot. Verder wordt openheid gewaardeerd door vrouwen terwijl het geen significant effect heeft op de beslissing van mannen om een kandidaat uit te nodigen voor een jobgesprek. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. discrimination gender hiring vignettes labour

Abstract. We present a laboratory experiment to assess the relative and independent effect of perceived attractiveness and personality traits on hiring decisions. Our results indicate that attractiveness and conscientiousness, followed by emotional stability, are important drivers of recruiters' decisions.

Co-authors. Lynn Decuypere.

Downloads. Published in Applied Economics Letters (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504851.2013.877564).


5. Is There Less Discrimination in Occupations Where Recruitment is Difficult?

5. Neemt etnische discriminatie af met arbeidsmarktkrapte in beroep? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. In dit onderzoek testen we de samenhang tussen aanwervingsdiscriminatie enerzijds en arbeidsmarktkrapte (i.e. het aantal vacatures in een bepaald beroep in verhouding tot het aantal werklozen dat ervoor in aanmerking komt). Daartoe sturen we paren van fictieve sollicitanten naar bestaande vacatures die verschillen naar arbeidsmarktkrapte. Aan deze paren worden op een lukrake manier een Vlaamse naam (ene kandidaat) en Turkse naam (andere kandidaat) toegevoegd. Enerzijds vinden we dat Vlaamse en Turkse kandidaten geen ongelijke behandeling ondergaan wanneer ze solliciteren voor knelpuntberoepen (hoge krapte). Anderzijds krijgen Vlaamse kandidaten meer dan dubbel zoveel uitnodigingen voor een jobgesprek voor niet-knelpuntberoepen (lage krapte). Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. discrimination hiring ethnicity unemployment fictitious job applications

Abstract. We empirically test the cross-sectional relationship between hiring discrimination and labor market tightness at the level of the occupation. To this end, we conduct a correspondence test in the youth labor market. In line with theoretical expectations, we find that, compared to natives, candidates with a foreign sounding name are equally often invited to a job interview if they apply for occupations for which vacancies are difficult to fill, but they have to send twice as many applications for occupations for which labor market tightness is low. Our findings are robust against various sensitivity checks.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Bart Cockx, Drs. Niels Gheyle and Cora Vandamme.

Downloads. Published in Industrial & Labor Relations Review (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0019793915570873).


6. Does Homeownership Lead to Longer Unemployment Spells? The Role of Mortgage Payments

6. Leidt huiseigenaarschap tot langere werkloosheidsduur? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. In dit artikel wordt onderzocht hoe huiseigenaarschap en werkloosheidsduur samenhangen in België. We dragen bij aan de wetenschappelijke literatuur door een onderscheid te maken tussen huiseigenaars met en zonder lopende hypotheek. We vinden dat eigenaars zonder lopende hypotheek het langst werkloos blijven terwijl eigenaars met hypotheek het snelst weer aan de slag zijn. Huurders nemen een tussenpositie in.

Tags. unemployment duration analysis labour

Abstract. This paper examines the impact of housing tenure choice on unemployment duration in Belgium using EU-SILC micro data. We contribute to the literature in distinguishing homeowners with mortgage payments and outright homeowners. Accounting for tenure endogeneity and unobserved heterogeneity, we find that homeowners with a mortgage exit unemployment first, while outright owners stay unemployed the longest. Tenants take an intermediate position. Our results emphasize the key role of housing costs in the link between housing tenure and labour market outcomes. Considered together with the results of recent macroeconomic research on housing and employment in Belgium, this paper provides indirect evidence for significant negative effects of homeownership on the labour market and the economy beyond the owners themselves.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Freddy Heylen and Dr. Daan Isebaert.

Downloads. Published in Economist (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10645-014-9236-6).


7. Is Ethnic Discrimination due to Distaste or Statistics?

7. Komt etnische discriminatie door voorkeuren of statistieken? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Met behulp van een vignette-experiment testen we de empirische waarden van twee sleuteltheorieën die discriminatie kunnen verklaren. Enerzijds is er de theorie van de voorkeursdiscriminatie: werkgevers discrimineren op basis van hun algemeen voorkeur voor of afkeer van samenwerking met bepaalde minderheidsgroepen (of de voorkeuren van hun klanten of andere werknemers). Anderzijds is er de theorie van de statistische discriminatie: werkgevers worden bij het beoordelen van jobkandidaten geconfronteerd met beperkte informatie en leiden uit bepaalde kenmerken andere niet-waargenomen zaken (zoals motivatie en algemene aanleg) af. Daarbij is het mogelijk dat individuen die tot minderheidsgroepen behoren ongunstig behandeld worden op basis van percepties omtrent de groep waartoe zij behoren. Onze onderzoeksbevindingen bieden, specifiek voor etnische discriminatie, ondersteuning voor de eerste theorie: werkgevers discrimineren vanuit de perceptie dat hun klanten en andere werknemers samenwerking met autochtonen verkiezen.

Tags. discrimination hiring vignettes labour

Abstract. Employing a vignette experiment, we test the empirical importance of key attitudes underlying the models of taste-based and statistical discrimination in explaining ethnic hiring discrimination. We find that employer concern that co-workers and customers prefer collaborating with natives drives discrimination.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Ann-Sophie De Pauw.

Downloads. Published in Economics Letters (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.econlet.2014.09.020).


8. Wage Subsidies and Hiring Chances for the Disabled: Some Causal Evidence

8. Helpen loonsubsidies om aanwervingskansen van personen met een beperking te verhogen? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. We evalueren de effectiviteit van loonsubsidies als instrument om personen met een functiebeperking aan werk te helpen. Om causale effecten te identificeren voerden we een grootschalig veldexperiment uit in België. Uit onze resultaten blijkt dat de kans dat een kandidaat met een beperking een positief antwoord ontvangt op een sollicitatie niet positief beánvloed wordt wanneer deze weergeeft dat zijn werkgever recht heeft op een Vlaamse ondersteuningspremie (VOP) bij anwerving. Verder blijkt, algemeen, dat de kans op een jobgesprek sterk terugvalt wanneer men een functiebeperking (blindheid, doofheid of autisme) vermeldt. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. discrimination hiring unemployment fictitious job applications labour health

Abstract. We evaluate the effectiveness of wage subsidies as a policy instrument to integrate disabled individuals into the labour market. To identify causal effects, we conduct a large-scale field experiment in Belgium. Our results show that the likelihood of a disabled candidate receiving a positive response to a job application is not positively influenced by revealing entitlement to the Flemish Supporting Subsidy.

Downloads. Published in in European Journal of Health Economics (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10198-014-0656-7) . A presentation is downloadable here.


9. Labour Market Discrimination against Former Juvenile Delinquents: Evidence from a Field Experiment

9. Discrimineren werkgevers op basis van eerdere jeugddelinquentie? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Deze studie meet ongelijke behandeling in de Vlaamse arbeidsmarkt op basis van vermelde jeugddelinquentie. We vinden dat kandidaten die een geschiedenis van jeugdcriminaliteit onthullen bij hun sollicitatie in Vlaanderen, ongeveer 22 procent minder positieve reacties krijgen op hun sollicitatie dan gelijkaardige kandidaten die dit niet vermelden. De mate van discriminatie verschilt naargelang het beroep waarvoor men solliciteert. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. discrimination hiring fictitious job applications labour

Abstract. In view of policy action to integrate ex-offenders into society, it is important to identify the underlying mechanisms of the negative relationship between criminal record on the one hand and later employment and earnings on the other hand. In this study, we identify hiring discrimination against former juvenile delinquents in a direct way. To this end, we conduct a field experiment in the Belgian labour market. We find that labour market discrimination is indeed a major barrier in the transition to work for former juvenile delinquents. Labour market entrants disclosing a history of juvenile delinquency get about 22 percent less callback compared to their counterparts without a criminal record. This discrimination is heterogeneous by the occupation for which one applies.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Elsy Verhofstadt.

Downloads. Published in Applied Economics (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036846.2014.990620).


10. Mister Sandman, Bring Me Good Marks! On the Relationship Between Sleep Quality and Academic Achievement

10. Beïnvloedt slaapkwaliteit de studieresultaten tijdens het hoger onderwijs? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. We onderzoeken de relatie tussen de slaapkwaliteit van eerstejaarsstudenten aan de universiteit en hun examenresultaten. Daartoe meten we hun slaapkwaliteit middels de Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) en verschillende andere determinanten van examenresultaten. Deze data wordt gekoppeld aan hun examenresultaten tijdens de eerste examenperiode. Aan de hand van instrumentschattingen vinden we dat wanneer de slaapkwaliteit van de studenten toeneemt met een standaardafwijking, hun punten met 4,85 procentpunten stijgen. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. education health

Abstract. There is growing evidence that health factors affect tertiary education success in a causal way. This study assesses the effect of sleep quality on academic achievement at university. To this end, we surveyed 804 students about their sleep quality by means of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) before the start of their first exam period in December 2013 at Ghent University. PSQI scores were merged with course marks in this exam period. Instrumenting PSQI scores by sleep quality during secondary education, we find that increasing total sleep quality with one standard deviation leads to 4.85 percentage point higher course marks. Based on this finding, we suggest that higher education providers might be incentivised to invest part of their resources for social facilities in professional support for students with sleep and other health problems.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Eddy Omey, Prof. dr. Dieter Verhaest and Aurélie Vermeir.

Downloads. Published in Social Science and Medicine (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.02.011).


11. Do Employer Preferences Contribute to Sticky Floors?

11. Dragen werkgeversvoorkeuren bij tot het minder snel maken van promotie door vrouwen? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. discrimination gender hiring fictitious job applications labour

Abstract. We investigate the importance of employer preferences in explaining Sticky Floors, the pattern that women are, compared to men, less likely to start to climb the job ladder. To this end we perform a randomised field experiment in the Belgian labour market and test whether hiring discrimination based on gender is heterogeneous by the promotion characteristics of the selected jobs. We find that women get 33% less interview invitations when they apply for jobs implying a first promotion in functional level. On the other hand, their hiring chances are not significantly affected by the job authority level of the job.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Ann-Sophie De Pauw and Prof. dr. Nick Deschacht.

Downloads. Published in Industrial & Labor Relations Review (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0019793915625213. A presentation is downloadable here.


12. Hiring Discrimination against Pro-Union Applicants: The Role of Union Density and Firm Size.

12. Discrimineren werkgevers jobkandidaten op basis van hun vakbondslidmaatschap? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. discrimination hiring fictitious job applications labour

Abstract. We study the causal impact of revealing pro-unionism during the recruitment stage on hiring chances. To this end, we conduct a randomised field experiment in the Belgian labour market. When matched with employer and sector data, the experimentally gathered data enable us to test the heterogeneity of discrimination against pro-union applicants by the union density in the sector and the size of the firm. We find that disclosure of pro-unionism affects hiring chances in a negative way and that -- in line with our expectations based on the literature -- this negative impact is stronger in highly unionised sectors.

Co-authors. Joint with Prof. dr. Eddy Omey.

Downloads. Published in Economist (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10645-015-9252-1).


13. Field Experimental Evidence on Gender Discrimination in Hiring: Biased as Heckman and Siegelman Predicted?

13. Onderzoeksresultaten genderdiscriminatie op basis van veldexperimenten: vertekend? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld.

Tags. discrimination gender hiring fictitious job applications labour

Abstract. Correspondence studies are nowadays viewed as the most compelling avenue to test for hiring discrimination. However, these studies suffer from one fundamental methodological problem, as formulated by Heckman and Siegelman (The Urban Institute audit studies: Their methods and findings. In M. Fix, and R. Struyk (Eds.), Clear and convincing evidence: Measurement of discrimination in America, 1993), namely the bias in their results in case of group differences in the variance of unobserved determinants of hiring outcomes. In this study, the authors empirically investigate this bias in the context of gender discrimination. The authors do not find significant evidence for the feared bias.

Downloads. Published in Economics E-journal (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2015-25).


14. Native-Immigrant Gaps in Educational and School-to-Work Transitions in the Second Generation: The Role of Gender and Ethnicity

14. Etnische verschillen op school en arbeidsmarkt: verschillend voor jongens en meisjes? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. ethnicity gender dynamic discrete choice labour education

Abstract. We study how native-immigrant gaps in educational trajectories and school-to-work transitions vary by gender. Using longitudinal Belgian data and adjusting for family background and educational sorting, we find that second-generation immigrants, especially Turks and Moroccans, lag behind natives. In particular, we observe that immigrant students are less likely to finish secondary education or begin tertiary education on time. They are also less likely to transition into work successfully. These performance gaps are substantially larger for female immigrants. In addition, we study demographic behaviors to test the hypothesis that attributes the gender differences in educational and economic ethnic gaps to cultural differences between immigrants and natives.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Frank Heiland and Prof. dr. Sanders Korenman.

Downloads. Published in Economist (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10645-016-9273-4).


15. Student Employment and Later Labour Market Success: No Evidence for Higher Employment Chances

15. Is studentenarbeid op het cv een troef? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. hiring student work fictitious job applications labour education

Abstract. We investigate the impact of student work experience on later hiring chances. To completely rule out potential endogeneity, we present a field experiment in which various forms of student work experience are randomly disclosed by more than 1000 fictitious graduates applying for jobs in Belgium. Theoretical mechanisms are investigated by estimating heterogeneous treatment effects by the relevance and timing of revealed student work experience. We find that neither form of student work experience enhances initial recruitment decisions. For a number of candidate subgroups (by education level and occupation type), even an adverse effect is found.

Co-authors. Olivier Rotsaert, Prof. dr. Dieter Verhaest and Prof. dr. Eddy Omey.

Downloads. Published in Kyklos (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/kykl.12115). A presentation is downloadable here.


16. Perceived Discrimination in Primary Health Care in Europe: Evidence from the cross-sectional QUALICOPC-Study

16. Welke patiënten voelen zich gediscrimineerd in de Europese zorgverlening? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld.

Tags. discrimination health

Abstract. Data of the QUALICPC-study is used to describe perceived discrimination in 31 European countries. Independent sample T- and One Way ANOVA-tests are used to estimate the impact of each socioeconomic indicator on discrimination. In a next step, binomial logistic regressions estimate the unique effect of each indicator. We find that in Europe, overall 7% of the respondents felt discriminated, ranging between 1.4% and 12.8% at the country-level. With regard to socio-economic determinants in perceived discrimination, income and age are both important indicators, with lower income groups and younger people having a higher chance to feel discriminated. In addition, we find significant influences of education, gender, age and ethnicity in several countries. In most countries higher educated people, older people, women and the indigenous population are better off when it comes to feeling discriminated.

Co-authors. Dra. Lise Hanssens, Drs. Jens Detollenaere, Dra. Amelie Van Pottelberge and Prof. dr. Sara Willems.

Downloads. Published in Health & Social Care in the Community (URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hsc.12353/epdf).


17. First Depressed, Then Discriminated Against?

17. Depressie of niet-verklaarde werkloosheid: wat is meest nefast voor aanwervingskansen? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld.

Tags. hiring gender unemployment fictitious job applications labour education health

Abstract. Each year a substantial share of the European population suffers from major depression. This mental illness may affect individuals' later life outcomes indirectly by the stigma it inflicts. The present study assesses hiring discrimination based on disclosed depression. To this end, between May 2015 and July 2015, we sent out 288 trios of job applications from fictitious candidates to real vacancies in Belgium. Within each trio, one candidate claimed to have become unemployed only recently, whereas the other two candidates revealed former depression or no reason at all for their unemployment during a full year. Disclosing a year of inactivity due to former depression decreases the probability of getting a job interview invitation by about 34% when compared with candidates who just became unemployed, but the stigma effect of a year of depression is not significantly higher than the stigma effect of a year of unexplained unemployment. In addition, we found that these stigmas of depression and unemployment were driven by our male trios of fictitious candidates. As a consequence, our results are in favour of further research on gender heterogeneity in the stigma of depression and other health impairments.

Co-authors. Sarah De Visschere, Prof. dr. Koen Schoors, Drs. Désirée Vandenberghe and Prof. dr. Eddy Omey.

Downloads. Published in Social Science & Medicine (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.06.033).


18. Immigrant Volunteering: A Way Out of Labour Market Discrimination?

18. Worden allochtonen die aan vrijwilligerswerk doen minder gediscrimineerd op de arbeidsmarkt? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. discrimination hiring ethnicity unemployment fictitious job applications labour

Abstract. Many governments encourage migrants to participate in volunteer activities as a stepping stone to labour market integration. In the present study, we investigate whether this prosocial engagement lowers the hiring discrimination against them. To this end, we use unique data from a field experiment in which fictitious job applications are sent in response to real vacancies in Belgium. Ethnic origin and volunteer activities are randomly assigned to these applications. While non-volunteering native candidates receive more than twice as many job interview invitations as non-volunteering migrants, no unequal treatment is found between natives and migrants when they reveal volunteer activities.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Suncica Vujic.

Downloads. Published in Economics Letters (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.econlet.2016.07.035).


19. Do gender differences in career aspirations contribute to Sticky Floors?

19. Dragen de eigen voorkeuren bij tot het minder snel maken van promotie door vrouwen? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. gender vignettes labour

Abstract. This study tests hypotheses regarding the importance of employee preferences in explaining Sticky Floors, the pattern that women are, compared to men, less likely to start to climb the job ladder. To this end we conduct a vignette study in which participants had to score the likeliness with which they would accept job offers with different promotion characteristics. In addition, they were surveyed on a number of preferences and attitudes. The main findings are that female young professionals have a less pronounced preference for jobs implying a promotion in terms of job content and that this effect is mediated by the greater risk aversion and anticipated gender discrimination among the women in our sample. No gender differences were found in the relative likeliness to apply for jobs that involve a promotion in terms of job authority.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Ann-Sophie De Pauw and Prof. dr. Nick Deschacht.

Downloads. Published in International Journal of Manpower (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJM-10-2015-0171).


20. Getting Grey Hairs in the Labour Market: An Alternative Experiment on Age Discrimination

20. Discrimineren werkgevers op basis van oudere leeftijd? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. discrimination hiring fictitious job applications labour

Abstract. This study presents a new field experimental approach for measuring age discrimination in hiring. In addition to the classical approach in which candidates' ages are randomly assigned within pairs of fictitious resumes that are sent to real vacancies, we randomly assign between these pairs the activities undertaken by the older candidates during their additional post-educational years. When applying this design to the case of Belgium, we find that age discrimination depends fundamentally on the older candidates' career patterns. Older age only robustly affects call-back if the older candidate was employed in an out-of-field job during his or her extra post-educational years.

Co-authors. Jennifer Norga, Dr. Yannick Thuy and Marieke Van Hecke.

Downloads. Published in Journal of Economic Psychology (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joep.2016.10.002). A presentation is downloadable here.


21. Facebook profile picture appearance affects recruiters' first hiring decisions

21. Heeft je Facebook-profielfoto een effect op je aanwervingskansen? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. discrimination gender hiring fictitious job applications labour

Abstract. We investigate whether the publicly available information on Facebook about job applicants affects employers' hiring decisions. To this end, we conduct a field experiment in which fictitious job applications are sent to real job openings in Belgium. The only characteristic in which these candidates differ is the unique Facebook profile that can be found online with their name. Candidates with the most beneficial Facebook picture obtain approximately 38% more job interview invitations compared to candidates with the least beneficial picture. In addition, we find suggestive evidence for a higher effect of Facebook profile picture appearance on hiring chances when candidates are highly educated and when recruiters are female.

Downloads. Published in New Media & Society (URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1461444816687294).


22. Volunteering, income and health

22. Wat is de samenhang tussen vrijwilligerswerk, inkomen en gezondheid? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. volunteering labour health

Abstract. Separate literatures have related volunteering to health gains and income gains. We study the association between volunteering, income and health within one statistical framework. A state-of-the-art mediation analysis is conducted on data concerning the health, volunteering and sociodemographic characteristics of 42926 individuals within 29 European countries. We find that volunteering is positively associated to self-rated health. This association is partially mediated by household income.

Co-authors. Drs. Jens Detollenaere and Prof. dr. Sara Willems.

Downloads. Published in PLOS ONE (URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0173139).


23. Does Work Experience Mitigate Discrimination?

23. Worden allochtonen met meer werkervaring minder gediscrimineerd? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. discrimination hiring ethnicity fictitious job applications labour

Abstract. We test whether ethnic discrimination is heterogeneous by job candidates' work experience. Fictitious applications are sent to vacancies. We find significant discrimination when candidates have no or little experience but no unequal treatment when they have twenty years of experience.

Co-authors. Dr. Andrea Albanese, Sofie du Gardein, Jolien Ovaere and Drs. Jarno Stappers.

Downloads. Published in Economics Letters (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.econlet.2017.03.011 ).


24. Association between cultural distance and migrant self-rated health

24. Zijn migranten met een grotere culturele afstand tot hun gastland in minder goede gezondheid? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. ethnicity gender health

Abstract. We study whether migrants' health in Europe is associated with the cultural distance between their host country and country of origin. To this end, we run multilevel regression models on data merging (i) self-rated health and social background of more than 3,800 migrants from the European Social Survey with (ii) an index of cultural distance based on country differences in values, norms and attitudes measured in the World Values Survey. We find that higher levels of cultural distance are associated with worse health of migrants. This association is comparable in size to the negative association between health and female gender (compared to male gender) but less important than the association between health and education level. In addition, this association is less significant among second-generation migrants than among first-generation migrants.

Co-authors. Drs. Jens Detollenaere and Prof. dr. Sara Willems.

Downloads. Published in European Journal of Health Economics (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10198-017-0881-y).


25. Student Employment and Academic Performance: An Empirical Exploration of the Primary Orientation Theory

25. Is studentenarbeid tijdens het academiejaar enkel nefast voor wie zich primair focust op dit werk? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld.

Tags. student work labour education

Abstract. This study empirically assesses the thesis that student employment only hurts academic performance for students with a primary orientation toward work (versus school). To this end, we analyse unique data on tertiary education students' intensity of and motivation for student employment by means of a state-of-the art moderation model. We find, indeed, only a negative association between hours of student work and the percentage of courses passed for work-oriented students. This finding may explain the contradictory results in the literature neglecting this factor.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Ive Marx, Drs. Brecht Neyt, Dra. Eva Van Belle en Jasmien Van Casteren.

Downloads. Published in Applied Economics Letters (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504851.2017.1343443).


26. The effects of workplace learning in higher education on employment and match quality: Is there an early-career tradeoff?

26. Algemeen versus beroepsgericht hoger onderwijs: afruil in korte- en langetermijnsucces op de arbeidsmarkt? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld.

Tags. overeducation unemployment duration analysis labour education

Abstract. We investigate whether the choice for a higher education program with a substantial workplace learning component entails an early-career trade-off between on the one hand higher employment chances and better initial matches (when opting for a program with workplace learning) and on the other hand a lower risk of bad match persistence (when opting for a program without workplace learning). To this end, we rely on longitudinal data of Belgian graduates that track their careers up until the age of 29. We model the program choice, the transition to a good match and the preceding transition to a bad match simultaneously. To account for non-random selection into programs and into bad matches, the Timing of Events method is combined with an exclusion restriction. After accounting for observed and unobserved heterogeneity, we do not find evidence for a trade-off. This result contributes to the debate about the efficiency of vocationalising tertiary education programs through the implementation of workplace learning.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Dieter Verhaest.

Downloads. Published in Empirical Economics (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00181-017-1308-4).


27. Hiring a gay man, taking a risk? A lab experiment on employment discrimination and risk-aversion

27. Discrimineren werkgevers die risico's schuwen vaker (tegenover homoseksuelen)? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld.

Tags. discrimination hiring vignettes labour

Abstract. We investigate risk-aversion as a driver of labour market discrimination against homosexual men. We show that more hiring discrimination by more risk-averse employers is consistent with taste-based and statistical discrimination. To test this hypothesis we conduct a scenario experiment in which experimental employers take a hiring decision concerning a heterosexual or homosexual job candidate. In addition, participants are surveyed on their risk-aversion and other characteristics which might correlate with this risk-aversion. Analysis of the (post-)experimental data confirms our hypothesis. The probability of a beneficial hiring decision for homosexual candidates decreases by 31.7% when employers are a standard deviation more risk-averse.

Downloads. Published in Journal of Homosexuality (URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2017.1364950).


28. Do Employers Prefer Overqualified Graduates? A Field Experiment

28. Prefereren werkgevers overgekwalificeerde werknemers over juist gekwalificeerde? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. In deze studie vergelijken we hogeronderwijsopleidingen met en zonder werkplekleren. We kijken naar de mate waarin studenten die afstuderen in richtingen met werkplekleren (i) sneller een job vinden, (ii) minder vaak terechtkomen in een job onder hun niveau en (iii) wanneer ze terecht komen in een job onder hun niveau er sneller uitraken. We doen dit door de school- en arbeidsmarktcarrière van 6000 individuen geboren in 1978 en 1980 te bestuderen (dit is meteen het grootste nadeel: om dit te kunnen doen, i.e. om de arbeidsmarktcarrières voldoende ver te kunnen volgen, dienden we vrij “oude” data te gebruiken). We vinden dat werkplekleren tijdens het hoger onderwijs niet veel oplevert. Het leidt niet tot een snellere baan en, afhankelijk van hoe we “met werkplekleren” (1 maand stage, 3 maand stage of 4 maand stage) en “job op niveau” definiëren, deze baan is vaker niet op niveau.

Tags. hiring overeducation fictitious job applications labour education

Abstract. We test the basic assumption underlying the job competition and crowding out hypothesis: that employers always prefer higher educated to lower educated individuals. To this end, we conduct a randomised field experiment in which duos of fictitious applications by bachelor and master graduates are sent to real vacancies requiring only a bachelor degree. Our design allows to look at whether employers' preferences for overqualified versus adequately qualified applicants depend on the demand and supply context, sectoral activity and type of organisation, and characteristics of the posted vacancy. For the overall sample, we find that master graduates are 19% more likely to be directly invited for a job interview. Nonetheless, we conclude that eventual crowding out of bachelor graduates as a consequence of this selection policy is unlikely to be large since the advantage for master graduates is particularly observed for jobs with high overall invitation rates.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Dieter Verhaest, Elene Bogaert, Jeroen Dereymaeker and Laura Mestdagh.

Downloads. Accepted for publication in Industrial Relations. This study was disseminated as a Discussion Paper titled "Crowding Out in the Labour Market: Do Employers Lend a Hand?". An author version of the accepted manuscript can be found here.


29. The Effectiveness of Medical and Vocational Interventions for Reducing Sick Leave of Self-Employed Workers

29. Zijn dokters en ergotherapeuten effectief in het activeren van zieke zelfstandigen? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld.

Tags. duration analysis labour health

Abstract. We investigate whether interventions by (i) medical doctors and (ii) occupational specialists are effective in reducing sick leave durations among self-employed workers. To this end, we exploit unique administrative data comprising all sick leave claims by self-employed workers insured with the major Dutch private insurer between January 2009 and March 2014. We estimate a multivariate duration model dealing with non-random selection into the two intervention types by controlling for observable and unobservable claimant characteristics. We find adverse treatment effects for both interventions, which are heterogeneous by the physical toughness of the claimants' occupation.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Bas van der Klaauw and Dr. Gijsbert van Lomwel

Downloads. Published in Health Economics. (URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hec.3578/full).



B. RESEARCH PROJECTS: STUDIES IN THE REVIEW PROCESS FOR WEB OF SCIENCE JOURNALS


30. Unemployment or Overeducation: Which is a Worse Signal to Employers?

30. Werkloosheid of tewerkstelling onder niveau: wat is het slechtste signaal naar werkgevers? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. hiring overeducation unemployment fictitious job applications labour education

Abstract. This study aims at estimating the stigma effect of unemployment and overeducation within one framework. To this end, we conduct a field experiment in the Belgian labour market. We send out trios of fictitious male job applications to real vacancies. These applications differ only by the labour market history of the candidates. By monitoring the subsequent reactions from the employer side, we find evidence for a larger stigma effect of unemployment than overeducation. The stigma effect of overeducation is found to occur for permanent contract jobs but not temporary ones.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Dieter Verhaest.

Downloads. A working paper version of the study is published in the IZA Discussion Paper Series and can be downloaded here. A revised version is available upon request.


31. Contracting Out Mandatory Counselling and Training for Long-Term Unemployed: Private For-Profit or Non-Profit, or Keep It Public?

31. Uitbesteding van tewerkstellingsdiensten voor langdurig werklozen: door profit-bedrijven, non-profit-bedrijven of de overheid?

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. unemployment duration analysis labour

Abstract. This study evaluates the effectiveness of contracting out mandatory publicly provided counselling and training for long-term unemployed in Flanders (Belgium) to private for-profit and non-profit organisations (FPOs and NPOs). A multivariate transition model exploits timing-of-events and novel exclusion restrictions to account for selection on unobservables. Overall, the intervention was highly effective in reducing unemployment duration, but also spurred employment instability and withdrawals from the labour force. FPOs slightly, but significantly enhanced exits to employment without reinforcing recidivism relative to the public provider but not significantly relative to NPOs. FPOs also charged lower prices and hence were the best performing providers.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Bart Cockx.

Downloads. A working paper version of the study is published in the IZA Discussion Paper Series and can be downloaded here. A revised version is available upon request.


32. Modeling the Effects of Grade Retention in High School

32. Wat zijn de effecten van overzitten op verdere studieresultaten? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. dynamic discrete choice education

Abstract. A dynamic discrete choice model is set up to estimate the effects of grade retention in high school, both in the short- (end-of-year evaluation) and long-run (drop-out and delay). In contrast to regression discontinuity designs, this approach captures treatment heterogeneity and controls for grade-varying unobservable determinants. A method is proposed to deal with initial conditions and with partial observability of the track choices at the start of high school. Forced track downgrading is considered as an alternative remedial measure. In the long-run, grade retention and its alternative have adverse effects on schooling outcomes and, more so, for less able pupils.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Bart Cockx and Prof. dr. Matteo Picchio.

Downloads. A working paper version of the study is published in the IZA Discussion Paper Series and can be downloaded here. A revised version is available upon request.


33. Does it Pay to Care? Prosocial Engagement and Employment Opportunities

33. Verhoogt vrijwilligerswerk de aanwervingskansen? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. gender hiring volunteering fictitious job applications labour

Abstract. We investigate whether, why and when prosocial engagement has a causal impact on individual employment opportunities. To this end, a field experiment is conducted in which volunteering activities are randomly assigned to fictitious job applications sent to genuine vacancies. We find that volunteers get one third more interview invitations than non-volunteers. The volunteering premium is higher for females but invariant with respect to the number of engagements and the private versus public or non-profit orientation of the job posting firm. As a result, our findings are consistent with the idea that prosocial workers sort themselves into non-commercial sectors.

Co-authors. Prof. dr. Suncica Vujic.

Downloads. A working paper version of the study is published in the IZA Discussion Paper Series and can be downloaded here. A revised version is available upon request.


34. No Better Moment to Score a Goal than Just Before Half Time? A Soccer Myth Statistically Tested

34. Geen beter moment om een doelpunt te scoren dan net voor de rust? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. soccer

Abstract. We test the soccer myth suggesting that a particularly good moment to score a goal is just before half time. To this end, rich data on 1,179 games played in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League are analysed. In contrast to the myth, we find that, conditional on the goal difference and other game characteristics at half time, the final goal difference at the advantage of the home team is 0.520 goals lower in case of a goal just before half time by this team. We show that this finding relates to this team's lower probability of scoring a goal during the second half.

Co-authors. Simon Amez.

Downloads. A working paper version of the study is published in the IZA Discussion Paper Series and can be downloaded here.


35. Why Is Unemployment Duration a Sorting Criterion in Hiring?

35. Waarom krijgen langdurig werklozen nog zo weinig positieve reacties op hun sollicitaties? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. hiring unemployment vignettes labour

Abstract. Recent evidence from large-scale field experiments has shown that employers use job candidates' unemployment duration as a sorting criterion. In the present study, we investigate the mechanisms underlying this pattern. To this end, we conduct a lab experiment in which participants make hiring decisions concerning fictitious job candidates with diverging unemployment durations. In addition, these participants rate the job candidates on statements central to four theoretical mechanisms often related to the scarring effect of unemployment: general signalling theory, (perceived) skill loss, queuing theory, and rational herding. We use the resulting data to estimate a multiple mediation model, in which the effect of the duration of unemployment on hiring intentions is mediated by the four theories. The lower hiring chances of the long-term unemployed turn out to be dominantly driven by the perception of longer unemployment spells as a signal of lower motivation.

Co-authors. Dra. Eva Van Belle, Prof. dr. Ralf Caers, Prof. dr. Marijke De Couck and Dr. Valentina Di Stasio.

Downloads. A working paper version of the study is published in the IZA Discussion Paper Series and can be downloaded here.


36. Does Student Work Really Affect Educational Outcomes? A Review of the Literature

36. Factcheck: studentenbaan nefast voor de studievoortgang? (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld. Meer informatie. Klik hier voor de perscommunicatie rond dit onderzoek.

Tags. student work labour education

Abstract. We review the theories put forward, methodological approaches used, and empirical conclusions found in the multidisciplinary literature on the relationship between student employment and educational outcomes. A systematic comparison of the empirical work yields new insights that go beyond the overall reported negative effect of more intensive working schemes and that are of high academic and policy relevance. One such insight uncovered by our review is that student employment seems to have a more adverse effect on educational choices and behaviour (study engagement and the decision to continue studying) than on educational performance (in particular, graduation).

Co-authors. Drs. Brecht Neyt, Prof. dr. Eddy Omey and Prof. dr. Dieter Verhaest.

Downloads. A working paper version of the study is published in the IZA Discussion Paper Series and can be downloaded here.


37. Student Work, Educational Achievement, and Later Employment: A Dynamic Approach

37. De samenhang tussen studentenarbeid, studieresultaten en eerste arbeidsmarktuitkomsten (klik voor Nederlandse samenvatting)

Nederlandse samenvatting. Wordt spoedig ter beschikking gesteld.

Tags. student work labour education

Abstract. This study examines the direct and indirect impact (via educational achievement) of student work during secondary education on later employment outcomes. To this end, we jointly model student work and later schooling and employment outcomes as a chain of discrete choices. To tackle their endogeneity, we correct for these outcomes’ unobserved determinants. Using unique longitudinal Belgian data, we find that pupils who work during the summer holidays of secondary education are 15.3% more likely to have a job three months after leaving school. This premium to student work experience is higher when pupils also work during the academic year and diminishes for later employment outcomes. When decomposing this total effect, it turns out that the direct returns to student work overcompensate its non-positive indirect effect via tertiary education enrolment.

Co-authors. Drs. Brecht Neyt, Prof. dr. Eddy Omey and Prof. dr. Dieter Verhaest.

Downloads. A working paper version of the study is published in the IZA Discussion Paper Series and can be downloaded here.



C. RESEARCH PROJECTS: OTHER RESEARCH AND SOCIETAL IMPACT

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