Transport Subsidies and Job Matchmaking In South Africa
Last registered on June 19, 2014

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Transport Subsidies and Job Matchmaking In South Africa
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000362
Initial registration date
June 19, 2014
Last updated
June 19, 2014 12:36 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
LSE
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
MIT
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2014-05-05
End date
2015-06-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Researchers are using a randomized evaluation to examine the impact of subsidizing transportation on job search activities and youth employment outcomes by providing prepaid bus tickets for two major public transportation systems, Rea Vaya and Metrobus, in South Africa. From the database of unemployed youth (between 18 and 30 years old) provided by the South African Department of Labor, researchers randomly invited 1,200 job seekers to participate in the program. The study consists of two treatment treatment groups, with individuals in the sample being randomly assigned to either a group receiving a conditional transport subsidy, an unconditional transport subsidy or a control group receiving no subsidy. Researchers will gather data through interviews with participants on job search activity, job history, and various socio-economic characteristics. They will also extract data from the two transport systems on travel patterns and transactions made using the cards provided to study participants.
Registration Citation
Citation
Banerjee, Abhijit and Sandra Sequeira. 2014. "Transport Subsidies and Job Matchmaking In South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. June 19. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/362/history/1922
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention consists of two treatment arms - a conditional transport subsidy and an unconditional transport subsidy.

Unconditional Transportation subsidy: 400 participants were offered a Rea Vaya smart card that can be used either on Rea Vaya transport services or as a debit card fulfilling cash transactions under $20 per day. Each participant also received a Metrobus transport card. The subsidy lasted for five months, and the total subsidy per month was 300 South African Rand (US$30).

Conditional Transport subsidy: 400 participants were offered a Rea Vaya smart card specially designed to only allow for use on Rea Vaya transport services. The cards were preloaded with the same amount of money as the Unconditional Transportation subsidy group. Each participant also received a Metrobus transport card.
Intervention Start Date
2014-06-02
Intervention End Date
2014-12-02
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Outcomes of interest include labour market participation, intensity of job search activity, behaviours and attitudes toward labour market, perceptions of labour market conditions, spending behaviour, travel patterns, labour market expectations.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Labour market participation- jobs obtained, intensity of job search activity - number of hours spent searching for work, number of opportunities pursued, interviews attended, hours spent travelling to seek work, amount spent on job search activity. Perceptions of labour market conditions- degree of knowledge about jobs available in different industries, knowledge on skills required for different jobs, perceptions of income earned in different jobs, travel patterns- where respondent has travelled to seek work. Labour market expectations- expectations of income respondent should earn given the industry they wish to enter and their skills proficiency. Spending behaviour- amount of subsidy spent on transportation for job search activity versus other purposes.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
From the database of unemployed youth (between 18 and 30 years old) provided by the South African Department of Labor, researchers randomly invited 1,200 job seekers to participate in the program.

Participants were randomly allocated to one of three groups at the start of the program:

Unconditional Transportation subsidy: 400 participants were offered a Rea Vaya smart card that can be used either on Rea Vaya transport services or as a debit card fulfilling cash transactions under $20 per day. Each participant also received a Metrobus transport card. The subsidy lasted for five months, and the total subsidy per month was 300 South African Rand (US$30).

Conditional Transport subsidy: 400 participants were offered a Rea Vaya smart card specially designed to only allow for use on Rea Vaya transport services. The cards were preloaded with the same amount of money as the Unconditional Transportation subsidy group. Each participant also received a Metrobus transport card.

Comparison group: 400 participants received the Rea Vaya Smartcard and the Metrobus transport card loaded with only one trip to incentivize them to utilize the smart cards for their travel. Cards were given to to comparison group members to ensure homogeneity in the data quality between treatment and comparison groups.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization using Excel Macro on office computer at survey site.
Randomization Unit
Individual level
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
n/a
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,200
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
400 Conditional subsidy, 400 unconditional subsidy, 400 comparison group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
MIT COUHES
IRB Approval Date
2013-12-19
IRB Approval Number
1311006023
IRB Name
University of Cape Town
IRB Approval Date
2013-11-01
IRB Approval Number
UCT/COM/290/2013
IRB Name
London School of Economics
IRB Approval Date
2013-12-09
IRB Approval Number
n/a
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers