Jason Sockin, IZA/Cornell University

"Dancing with the Stars: How Workers Respond to Politically-Charged Job Ads"


While nouns in the German language are gendered toward males, the introduction of the ``gender star'' or ``gender colon'' have allowed for nouns to be interpreted as not assigning gender, or non-binary. Their usage however has become highly politically polarizing. Using over 40 million online job postings from 2016 to 2023, we document the rising prevalence of the gender star in the German labor market, particularly in German counties with greater support for the Green party. We then study how job seekers respond when the advertised job title includes such non-binary punctuation. Job seekers click substantially more often on job ads with gender-inclusive language. This relationship is larger in counties, occupations and sectors where gender-inclusive language is scarcer, suggesting a higher value for this amenity in such contexts. Finally, using a survey experiment, we investigate how such politically-charged signals in job ads affect sorting and labor market polarization.

For more information about Till von Wachter and his interesting work - link to his website.

Contact person: Mette Rasmussen