The effect of uncertainty on search behavior

Last registered on May 21, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

The effect of uncertainty on search behavior
Initial registration date
May 16, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 21, 2024, 11:13 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

National University of Singapore

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
How do students respond to uncertainty in their job search? This study uses a survey experiment to understand and affect the decision-making process of investment, career choices, and labor market outcomes. Specifically, it will assess dynamic updates in students' career choices and beliefs while considering different baseline factors affecting job search behavior.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Zhang, Liaoliang. 2024. "The effect of uncertainty on search behavior." AEA RCT Registry. May 21.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary outcomes will center around search behavior.

Search-related outcomes

- Beliefs and expectations (including occupation choice beliefs at different points in time, different aspects of the choice space of the occupations, wage expectations including reservation wage)

- Willingness to pay with real stakes for different information related to job search, for example, willingness to pay for continued access to the information provided by the intervention, the occupation of the mentor if provided with a mentor, other extra information about occupations, and peers

- Actual search behavior and knowledge about the occupation, for example: usage of the tool to access information related to different treatment arms, attending any career-related co-curriculum activities or events, internships, course choices, grades, and the distance between course syllabus and the task content of the occupations, other investment decisions, search activities, or the use of other information sources

Labor market outcomes:

- Detailed job market outcomes recorded in the Graduation Employment Survey administered by the university (for example, salaries and other job-related outcomes, search-related information such as start and end dates, internships and part-time jobs, offers, courses, main challenges, and reasons for their choices).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
By exogenously changing students’ exposure to different information, we study the effect on their search behaviors. Students will be randomized to different information treatment arms and a control arm, and they will be tracked across time.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1000 students
Sample size: planned number of observations
1000 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
250 in the treatment arm 1 (median information)
250 in the treatment arm 2 (spread information)
250 in the treatment arm 2 (growth information)
250 control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
α = 0.05, β = 0.1, δ = 0.15 SD Within-subject, F-test, H1: at least 2 of the 4 means differ Assume 25% attrition Required sample size: 848 (656 if β = 0.2) Pilot experiment (N=100-200) Main study (N=800)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Department Ethics Review Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

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