Essays on the Employment Service and Employers' Recruitment Behaviour

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


This thesis results from four research projects. The issues addressed in the projects are different types of labour market information problems. The purpose of the first article is to contribute to a better empirical under- standning of how an increase of staff at the Public Employment Service affects job seekers. In 1987, the Swedish Government decided to grant the Labour Market Administration extra funds to be used for an increase of personnel by 250 placement officers and counsellors. The article gives an account of an assessment of the impact on job placement which was based on a comparison between three employment offices where the staff increase was substantial and three offices where staff was either unchanged or was increased only slightly. The research design can be described as a quasi-experiment with nonrandom controls. The main results of the study are the following: 1) there are no effects on unemployment duration regarding jobs on the open market, 2) there are positive effects regarding register times at the employment office, i.e. unemployed who were registered at the programme offices were faster cancelled from the register. The second article presents the results of a study of the impact of the personnel increase on vacancy durations. Also in this case the research design was quasi- experimental. The main results of the study are: 1) the increase of employment office staff reduced vacancy durations by approximately two days on average, and 2) this effect is too small to result in a net increase in the value of goods and services produced, but it is large enogh for a "break-even" outcome in the cash-accounts of the public sector. In the third article "production frontier analysis" is used to elucidate differences in efficiency between Swedish employment offices. This study shows a new way of evaluating the operations of labour market policy organisations. The main result of this investigation is that employment offices exhibit major differences in the efficiency with which the carry out their job matching services. The fourth article gives a picture of the recruitment behaviour of Swedish employers. The study is based on about 800 telephone interviews with employers regarding their latest filled vacancy. Summary of findings: employers mainly recruit personnel in order to expand a certain activity of their firm; on average the total recruitment process takes about a month. Among a group of job seekers some are eliminated in a first round, mainly depending on the fact that these job seekers lack experience and/or education. Also being over 45 years of age leads, in one fifth of the cases, to direct elimination. During the job interview, which the employers, together with personal contacts of all kinds, regards as the most important source of information in the recruitment process, the employer searches for a person with professional knowledge, personal engagement in the job and social competence.


  • Lars Behrenz
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics


  • ekonomisk teori, ekonometri, economic policy, Nationalekonomi, economic systems, Labour Market, Evaluation, Hazard Functions, Unemployment Duration, Cost-benefit Analysis, Production frontier approach, Economics, economic theory, econometrics, ekonomiska system, ekonomisk politik
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1998 Nov 10
  • Lars Behrenz Växjö University S- 351 95 Växjö,
Print ISBNs91-628-3219-0
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1998-11-10 Time: 10:15 Place: EC III:210 External reviewer(s) Name: Eriksson, Tor Title: Professor Affiliation: [unknown] ---