Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tubes, Rubes, and Boobs

Question: why aren't jobs advertised on the television?

Answer: I don't know. The history of the television and its regulatory environment ensure that early in its history, the near-monopoly of the major broadcasters all but homogenized television viewing, perhaps a bit similar to some aspects of radio. This may have made it impractical and expensive to put help wanted ads up on the idiot box. Plus, TV is a recreational device, and who wants to think about being productive when it's time to relax? There seems like there might be both supply and demand side reasons for this seemingly odd phenomenon. You'd think that at least someone would have tried it. Or is it a volume issue? TV reaches a lot of eyeballs, and at a very low relative cost. One might inundate the HR department with applications, and possibly poor applications. Is this a signaling issue? What signal would it send to put out help wanted ads on the TV? What signals are embedded in the relative difficulty in obtaining information about potential jobs? Is there a status argument in there?

I need to ask someone about this. Professors Hanson or Cowen might be good resources.

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