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Impact of Information Provision of Job Preferences on Placement Outcomes in Low-skilled Labor Markets
Last registered on April 16, 2017


Trial Information
General Information
Impact of Information Provision of Job Preferences on Placement Outcomes in Low-skilled Labor Markets
Initial registration date
December 17, 2016
Last updated
April 16, 2017 3:10 PM EDT
Primary Investigator
University of Virginia
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Ford Foundation Professor of Economics,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
India is investing heavily in initiating skill development programs to mitigate the growing skills gap and prepare its youth with skills needed for the employment industry. However, the experience in the low-skilled sector so far has been riddled with low take up of training programs and high attrition in subsequent job placements. More generally, little is known about how job seekers in low skilled occupations weigh trade offs across job characteristics, which could be crucial in understanding their job search, tenure and job switches. This pilot study proposes to use placements after a vocational training program to do three things: (i) elicit unbiased preferences of trainees over various job characteristics and examine the consistency of these stated preferences with actual job choices; (ii) examine the knowledge and utilization of information on trainee’s preferences by trainers (placement officers) during job placement to improve the quality of placements; (iii) examine the employment choices and labor market activities of trainees after the completion of the training program through follow up surveys.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Banerjee, Abhijit and Gaurav Chiplunkar. 2017. "Impact of Information Provision of Job Preferences on Placement Outcomes in Low-skilled Labor Markets." AEA RCT Registry. April 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1835-2.0.
Former Citation
Banerjee, Abhijit, Gaurav Chiplunkar and Gaurav Chiplunkar. 2017. "Impact of Information Provision of Job Preferences on Placement Outcomes in Low-skilled Labor Markets." AEA RCT Registry. April 16. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1835/history/16612.
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Experimental Details
This project consists of two interventions with trainers and trainees in a vocational training program to elicit unbiased preferences of trainees over a set of job characteristics and the knowledge and use of these preferences by trainers during placements after the training program.

The first intervention revolves around eliciting unbiased preferences of trainees over job characteristics and by varying the incentives to reveal them, testing if trainees are strategic in revealing their preferences when asked to. The second intervention involves examining if there is an asymmetry of information about these preferences between trainees and their trainers (placement officers), which could lead to inefficient placement outcomes.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Compensating differentials in wage for changes in non-wage job characteristics, recruitment and placement outcomes like interviews, offers, wages, tenure etc.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Compensating differentials will be calculated using the ranking over jobs and job characteristics, as provided by trainees.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The experimental design for the two interventions is as follows:

For the first intervention, a job-list is generated based on pre-determined job characteristics that trainees (in the baseline survey) report are important to them, namely: salary, location, social security and designation. A job-list of 11 jobs is generated (using real jobs) by varying the above four job characteristics. Trainees are then asked to rank the jobs in this list in order of preference. To examine whether trainees are strategic in revealing true preferences, trainees in every batch are randomly into two groups and the salience of the job list is varied between the two groups. Both groups are asked to rank jobs in the same list, but one group is told that their rankings would completely determine their placement process in terms of the interviews they would get and the other group is told that their rankings on the list are merely for our research purposes.

For the second intervention, we present the trainer (who is also the placement officer) with the same list of jobs that is given to the trainees and ask the trainer, for every student, to recommend the top three jobs from the list that would be a good fit for the trainees. We can then compare the trainee’s preferences (elicited before) with that of the trainer to understand how well trainers know the preferences of the trainees. Furthermore, to reduce information asymmetry, we propose a randomized experiment where for half the trainees in a batch, trainers would receive information on the four most-preferred jobs of the trainees as captured through their job-rankings. A comparison of the placement outcomes between these trainees would then help us to examine the importance of this information in making the placement process more efficient and matching trainees to jobs they prefer.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in the office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual level randomization, stratifying by training batch and by gender within the batch.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
The randomization is at the individual level
Sample size: planned number of observations
600 training students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Within every training batch in a centre, trainees (stratified by gender) for the first intervention are allocated to the high or low incentive groups. For the second intervention, within every training batch in a centre, information on preferences for half the batch is provided to the placement officer (trainer).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
0.25 standard deviations or a 14% increase in the preference (as measured through the job ranking) for a job during placement.
IRB Name
Institute for Financial Management and Research
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB00007107; FWA00014616; IORG0005894
IRB Name
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
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)