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The Impact of LinkedIn on Disconnected Young Work-Seekers: Evidence from South Africa
Last registered on August 19, 2020


Trial Information
General Information
The Impact of LinkedIn on Disconnected Young Work-Seekers: Evidence from South Africa
Initial registration date
September 27, 2016
Last updated
August 19, 2020 1:10 PM EDT
Primary Investigator
Duke University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Duke University
PI Affiliation
RTI International
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This document outlines a plan for a labor market intervention being conducted in several cities across South Africa in cooperation with the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Randomly altering the curriculum of Harambee's corporate work readiness training program to include a LinkedIn (the digital professional networking site) component will allow researchers to estimate the effect of the LinkedIn "treatment" on the long-run employment outcomes, professional networks, educational investments, and career expectations and aspirations of young work-seekers in South Africa.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Wheeler, Laurel, Robert Garlick and Eric Johnson. 2020. "The Impact of LinkedIn on Disconnected Young Work-Seekers: Evidence from South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. August 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1624-10.5.
Former Citation
Wheeler, Laurel, Robert Garlick and Eric Johnson. 2020. "The Impact of LinkedIn on Disconnected Young Work-Seekers: Evidence from South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. August 19. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1624/history/74350.
Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Labor market information: work-seekers are asked a series of survey questions to measure their knowledge of the labor market and skills required for different job types/industries
2. Self-efficacy, locus of control, and aspirations: Work-seekers complete baseline and endline surveys containing scales that measure self-efficacy, locus of control, and aspirations
3. Educational investments: Through survey data on work-seeker enthusiasm for additional training opportunities and administrative data on work-seeker level of participation in training programs, we measure degree of educational investment.
4. Long-run career outcomes such as retention, promotion, job satisfaction: These outcomes are measured by the follow up surveys through questions on employment/unemployment duration, promotion, and job satisfaction.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The study sample is comprised of work-seekers affiliated with an organization in South Africa, the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, which recruits, tests, selects, and assigns unemployed young people into short-term training sessions they call “bridges" to prepare them for work in consulting, finance, customer service, sales, and insurance. Each of the bridges typically lasts 6-8 weeks and includes intensive instruction, workplace modeling, team building, non-cognitive development, work-seeker supports, and job placement.

The study involves randomly assigning to control and treatment cohorts the work-seekers in the Harambee training bridges in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth, and Durban between January 2016 and July 2017. The randomization is done at the level of the training (bridge) cohort, effectively matching on location and time period. Individuals in the treatment bridges will get periodic emails encouraging them to join LinkedIn, fill out their professional profile, and grow their professional networks. Individuals in the control bridges will get the normal Harambee corporate bridge programming.

The research team will collect baseline, endline, and then longer-term post-bridge survey data from the participants on their education experience, career outlook, and career outcomes. The baseline and endline data will be collected via voluntary participation in web-based surveys. The longer-term data will be collected via voluntary participation in either web- or SMS-based surveys.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Bridging cohorts (i.e. the training cohort level)
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
30 bridging cohorts
Sample size: planned number of observations
1500 work-seekers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approximately 15 treatment cohorts and 15 control cohorts
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
RTI Office of Research Protection: Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB ID Number: 13900
IRB Name
Duke University Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Data Analysis Plan_The Impact of LinkedIn_Wheeler and Johnson_2016

MD5: 3e1be87206023ce208e0bd4dd8bc09ac

SHA1: 179e971a47a9191f1e57335f0b9d7103544ec33b

Uploaded At: September 28, 2016

Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)