The Heterogeneous Effects of Summer Jobs

Last registered on January 15, 2019


Trial Information

General Information

The Heterogeneous Effects of Summer Jobs
Initial registration date
May 17, 2017

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 17, 2017, 3:30 PM EDT

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

Last updated
January 15, 2019, 1:50 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.


Primary Investigator

University of Chicago

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. University of Chicago Crime Lab, Chicago, IL, USA

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This project is a randomized field experiment designed to measure the impact of offering a heterogeneous population of youth a supported summer job in Chicago.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Davis, Jonathan and Sara Heller. 2019. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Summer Jobs." AEA RCT Registry. January 15.
Former Citation
Davis, Jonathan and Sara Heller. 2019. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Summer Jobs." AEA RCT Registry. January 15.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


This trial studies the impact of a public summer jobs program in reducing violence. The 2013 One Summer Plus (OSP) program in Chicago offers 6 weeks of part-time summer employment at Illinois’ minimum wage ($8.25/hour). Local community organizations place youth in for-profit, nonprofit and government jobs (for example, clerks at a grocery store, summer camp counselors, workers in a community garden, or office assistants for an alderman). Youth are assigned job mentors—adults who help them learn to be successful employees and to navigate barriers to employment—at a ratio of about 10 to 1. All youth in the treatment group are also offered social-emotional learning (SEL) programming based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles, aimed at teaching youth to understand and manage the aspects of their thoughts, emotions, and behavior that might interfere with employment. Control youth are excluded from the program but are free to pursue other employment opportunities of their own volition.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Arrests for violent, property, drug, and other crime; provider and non-provider employment; and persistence in school.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Primary outcome data include Illinois Statement Police arrest records covering both juveniles and adults, Illinois Department of Employment Security Unemployment Insurance records, and Chicago Public School records.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Male applicants were randomly selected for the treatment group from two applicants pools. The first pool of applicants (n = 2,127) was referred directly from the criminal justice system (from probation officers, juvenile detention or prison, or a center to serve justice-involved youth). No one was required to apply, but adults in the justice agencies invited youth who they judged to be work-ready to fill out applications. The rest of the applicants (n = 3,089) had applied to Chicago's broader summer programming; those who were ages 16-20, lived in one of the 30 highest-violence community areas, and included a social security number on their application were entered into the lottery.

Data come from matching study youth to various administrative data sources. Program participation is from provider-tracked attendance records. Student-level administrative records from the Chicago Public Schools capture pre- and post program academic outcomes. Demographic information on applicants’ neighborhoods comes from matching the Census tract of youths’ home addresses to data from the American Community Survey. The main outcome measures are from individual-level Illinois State Police arrest records covering both juveniles and adults.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Youth were randomly assigned to treatment or control groups within applicant pool-age-geography blocks, and each block was assigned to a specific service agency. The research team conducted the lottery using Stata.
Randomization Unit
Individual youth
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Study not clustered
Sample size: planned number of observations
3000 youth
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment: 1000 youth
Control: 2000 youth
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Chicago SBS-IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
August 31, 2013, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
December 31, 2016, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Study not clustered
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
5,216 youth
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
2,634 youth in the treatment group and 2,582 youth in the control group.
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials