Labor Regulation and Demand for Workers in South Africa

Last registered on September 02, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Labor Regulation and Demand for Workers in South Africa
Initial registration date
January 29, 2014

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
January 29, 2014, 7:36 AM EST

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

Last updated
September 02, 2020, 4:51 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Booth School of Business University of Chicago

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
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 Law@Work 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 Law@Work 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

Bertrand, Marianne and Bruno Crepon. 2020. "Labor Regulation and Demand for Workers in South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. September 02.
Former Citation
Bertrand, Marianne and Bruno Crepon. 2020. "Labor Regulation and Demand for Workers in South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. September 02.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Firms assigned to the treatment group will receive a voucher for 21 weeks of free access to the UCT Law@Work 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
Intervention End Date

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
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
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
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Cape Town
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
University of Chicago
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
November 28, 2013, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
May 13, 2014, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
753(Control) 757(Treatment)
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials