Labor Regulation and Demand for Workers in South Africa

Last registered on September 02, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Labor Regulation and Demand for Workers in South Africa
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000156
Initial registration date
January 29, 2014
Last updated
September 02, 2020, 4:51 AM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
CREST

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Booth School of Business University of Chicago

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2013-02-19
End date
2014-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
South African businesses consistently rate their country’s labor laws as burdensome and costly to comply with. However, objective interpretations of the labor laws do not suggest that South Africa’s regulations are particularly stringent relative to other countries of a similar income level. If firms had better information on their country’s labor regulations, they might be more willing to hire new employees. This could include those with ‘riskier’ profiles, such as younger or less experienced workers. There is little evidence on the impact of improving firms’ understanding of labor regulations on hiring.

Researchers are partnering with a subscription-based labor law website, UCT [email protected] Club, to examine how improved information of labor regulations can change firms’ knowledge and perception of labor regulation, and their demand for employees. Using South Africa’s Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) database, 1,800 firms located in all provinces of South Africa and with 5 to 300 employees will be randomly selected to participate in the study. Half of those firms will be offered a free subscription to the UCT [email protected] Club website for 21 weeks. Researchers will then collect data on the perception and knowledge of labor regulation, as well as the labor flows of the firms in the sample.

Registration Citation

Citation
Bertrand, Marianne and Bruno Crepon. 2020. "Labor Regulation and Demand for Workers in South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. September 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.156-1.1
Former Citation
Bertrand, Marianne, Bruno Crepon and Bruno Crepon. 2020. "Labor Regulation and Demand for Workers in South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. September 02. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/156/history/75090
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Firms assigned to the treatment group will receive a voucher for 21 weeks of free access to the UCT [email protected] Club website which provides businesses with expert labor law support to ensure accurate understanding of the laws. The website’s content includes video tutorials on various aspects of key South African labor regulations, as well as a case law library and tips on how to handle common human resources and staffing issues. The website also contains an active forum where members can ask questions about labor regulation and expect an answer from an expert in the same day. The website members receive bi-weekly newsletters informing them on the latest developments in labor regulation, giving them tips and advice on how to handle particular labor law issues, and notifying them on the latest content being published on the website.
Intervention Start Date
2013-04-04
Intervention End Date
2013-11-28

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Perception of labour regulation, knowledge of labour regulation and labour flows.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Knowledge of labour regulation will be constructed by the answers to 7 "quiz" questions of labour regulation in South Africa, asked during the endline survey.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Using a database from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), 1,800 firms were randomly selected to participate in the study.
The criteria used to screen the firms are: i) size of 5 to 300 employees and ii) having an access to internet.
The 1,800 firms are located all over South Africa and operate in all the main sectors of the economy.
From this sample of 1,800 firms, 900 firms were randomly assigned to the treatment group, and 900 to the control group.
Randomization was stratified by i) knowledge of labor regulation at baseline, ii) firm size, iii) sector of activity and iv) staff turnover at baseline.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer randomization for selection into treatment group (free website subscription for 21 weeks) or control group (no website subscription offered).
Randomization Unit
Firm
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,800 firms: 900 firms in the treatment group, 900 in the control group.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
N/A
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Cape Town
IRB Approval Date
2013-02-06
IRB Approval Number
UCT/COM/106/2013
IRB Name
University of Chicago
IRB Approval Date
2013-02-19
IRB Approval Number
IRB13-0095

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
November 28, 2013, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
May 13, 2014, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
1510
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
1510
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
753(Control) 757(Treatment)
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials