NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Why the Referential Treatment: Evidence from Field Experiments on Referrals

Amanda Pallais, Emily Glassberg Sands

NBER Working Paper No. 21357
Issued in July 2015
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

Referred workers are more likely than non-referred workers to be hired, all else equal. In three field experiments in an online labor market, we examine why. We find that referrals contain positive information about worker performance and persistence that is not contained in workers' observable characteristics. We also find that referrals performed particularly well when working directly with their referrers. However, we do not find evidence that referrals exert more effort because they believe their performance will affect their relationship with their referrer or their referrer's position at the firm.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21357

Published: Amanda Pallais & Emily Glassberg Sands, 2016. "Why the Referential Treatment? Evidence from Field Experiments on Referrals," Journal of Political Economy, vol 124(6), pages 1793-1828.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Mian and Sufi w21203 Household Debt and Defaults from 2000 to 2010: Facts from Credit Bureau Data
Lerner and Tufano The Consequences of Financial Innovation: A Counterfactual Research Agenda
Neumark, Burn, and Button w21669 Is It Harder for Older Workers to Find Jobs? New and Improved Evidence from a Field Experiment
Cascio and Narayan w21359 Who Needs a Fracking Education? The Educational Response to Low-Skill Biased Technological Change
Mulligan w21358 Fiscal Policies and the Prices of Labor: A Comparison of the U.K. and U.S.
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us