Information Frictions and Gender Inequality in Online Labour Markets

We study the effects of information frictions on gender gaps in matching and hiring in online labour markets. Administrative data from a large online job platform in Nigeria suggest significant gender differences in job applications, hiring and potential mismatch by gender. Women are less likely to apply to senior level jobs, despite being equally qualified for positions. Women are also less likely to be hired. We implement randomized experiments that provide information on these patterns, along with diversity encouragement information, separately, to applicants and hiring managers. The results so far demonstrate the importance of providing information to both sides of the online labour market and suggest that information can reduce gender gaps in employment by correcting misinformation among misinformed applicants and hiring managers.

With Francis Annan (UC Berkeley), Oyebola Okunogbe (World Bank) and Ifeatu Oliobi (Columbia University)