Mail: daphne.skandalis@uzh.ch 

Skype: dskandalis@gmail.com

Phone: +41 44 634 37 25

University of Zurich 
Department of Economics
Schönberggasse 1
8001 Zürich

My research is in labor economics and applied econometrics and focuses on the determinants of job search behaviors and hiring of firms. I am currently at the University of Zurich and I will join the New York Fed in October 2018. You can view my CV here.

Ongoing projects:

Breaking News: Information About Firms’ Hiring Needs Affects the Direction of Job Search [Email me for latest version]

Abstract: Recent studies suggest that the existence of a posted job vacancy provides a relatively weak signal on firms’ actual hiring needs. For job seekers, this translates into substantial uncertainty about their probability of being hired when they apply to an existing vacancy. In this paper I study how job seekers react to media news that a plant intends to expand hiring in the near future—information that job seekers can potentially use to distinguish real from “phantom” vacancies. I exploit a new source of job search activity derived from a large public online search platform in France, combined with administrative data on actual hiring outcomes. I can link 612 news with this data at the plant level and estimate their impact on applications sent to the plants mentioned in news and subsequent hiring. My empirical strategy exploits the quasi-random timing of news in the short run. Consistent with the view that job seekers are trying to learn about real job openings, I estimate that news of a plant expansion leads to 60% increase in job applications over the next month. Job seekers who apply in reaction to the news tend to live relatively far away, and appear to be good matches for the plant’s needs. Job seekers as a whole benefit from news events by being able to direct their search towards plants that actually intend to hire, though I find some evidence of displacement effects, concentrated among local job seekers. Overall, my findings suggest that low-cost interventions providing information about hiring needs could improve the job matching process and increase geographical mobility. 

Peer Effects of Job Search Assistance Group Treatments : Evidence of a Randomized Field Experiment among Disadvantaged Youths, with Sylvie Blasco  (Le Mans), Bruno Crépon (CREST), Arne Uhlendorff  (CREST), Gerard van den Berg (Bristol).  [Email me for latest version]

Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of "search clubs" on job search outcomes of young unemployed workers living in deprived neighborhoods in France. Young job seekers in these areas often have difficulties to find stable jobs and their dropout rate from active labor market programs is high. Search clubs have been designed to address the specific situation of these young workers. They provide intense counseling with collective meetings fostering the interaction among the participants and between the participants and the caseworker. The experiment was conducted in France with about 3600 young unemployed workers in 30 local labor agencies. Individuals were randomly assigned to a search club or to a standard counseling program. Our experimental design generates exogenous variation in clubs’ composition. It hence allows for the identification of exogenous peer effects of search clubs. Our results suggest a small positive effect of being assigned to a search club on the probability of being employed 6 months after randomization and we find some evidence for effect heterogeneity. Moreover, our results indicate that the group composition is important for the effectiveness of the search club.

The Impact of Unemployment Insurance on job search and job finding using French data, with Ioana Marinescu (U Penn). [Email me for latest version]

Abstract: This paper explores the impact of the potential duration of unemployment insurance (UI) on the job finding rate and job search. The negative impact of potential UI duration on job finding rate has been well documented, but little is known about the underlying mechanism. This paper aims to study the most obvious channels, i.e., job search intensity and job seekers’ selectivity. We use recently available data about online applications made on a large French search platform combined with individual administrative data. We first estimate the impact of unemployment duration on job search using within individual variations and thereby avoid the selection problem that is an important limitation of previous articles. Job seekers tend to send less applications over the unemployment spell and to apply to positions with a lower posted wage, and requiring less specialized skills. We also exploit a discontinuity in workers’ maximum UI duration at age 50. In a RDD, we estimate that the potential UI duration increases the unemployment duration. Our preliminary results suggest that the potential UI duration does not affect search intensity and search selectivity at the start of the unemployment spell but we observe a sizeable increases in search intensity and decrease in selectivity in the months around benefit exhaustion. We plan to explore how these effects vary with labor market conditions.

Preliminary projects:

Labor market congestions and firms' labor demand, with Benjamin Schoefer (UC Berkeley).

Abstract: In search and matching models, congestions in the labor market affect both the job finding rate for jobseekers and the job filling rate for firm. However, little is known about the empirical importance of matching frictions in shaping firm labor demand. This paper aims to measure the impact of exogenous changes in local labor market’s tightness on firms’ vacancy posting decisions. We use French administrative data about posted vacancies and hires at the plant level linked with a large plant survey about planned hires in different occupations.

The Housewife Trap, with Arnaud Philippe (Toulouse School of Economics).