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Michigan Job Seekers Study
Last registered on March 02, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Michigan Job Seekers Study
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003949
Initial registration date
February 26, 2019
Last updated
March 02, 2019 1:03 PM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
George Washington University
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-07-01
End date
2020-01-27
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This project investigates whether new job search tools can increase workers’ transitions, employment, and earnings. Our intervention provides workers information on occupations offering relatively high wages and rapid employment conditional on their past labor market experience, education, and demographic characteristics. Workers access this information through a user-friendly website and smartphone app. Our implementing partner administers employment services to workers in southwest Michigan. Alongside this partner, we evaluate this intervention using a randomized controlled trial that links individuals to administrative UI records. This project sheds light on whether innovative low-cost tools can improve employment prospects and matches. We also learn about whether barriers to information acquisition meaningfully hinder worker search.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Bartik, Alexander and Bryan Stuart. 2019. "Michigan Job Seekers Study." AEA RCT Registry. March 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3949-1.0.
Former Citation
Bartik, Alexander and Bryan Stuart. 2019. "Michigan Job Seekers Study." AEA RCT Registry. March 02. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3949/history/42338.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Job seekers are assigned to Treatment Group A, Treatment Group B, or the control group. Treatment Grop A provides job-seekers with access to a website and smartphone app that provides tailored information about occupations providing relatively high wages and strong employment growth, along with nudges to search and apply for jobs. Treatment Group B receives access to a website and smartphone app that provides non-tailored information about occupations, along with nudges to search and apply for jobs. The control group receives general information.
Intervention Start Date
2019-07-01
Intervention End Date
2019-10-21
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The four key outcome variables are:
i) earnings information bias (i.e. the bias in beliefs about how much different occupations pay)
ii) whether or not individuals switch two-digit occupation categories
iii) weekly earnings 12 weeks after filling out the baseline survey and starting the intervention
iv) days nonemployed within first 12 weeks after filling out the baseline survey and starting the intervention
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
i) will be measured based on surveys asking people to rank 6 randomly chosen occupations form 1-6, with 1 offering the lowest wages for the individual and 6 offering the highest. We will answer this both before and 12 weeks after the information intervention. We will measure information quality as the within person correlation of the responded occupation ranking with the true occupation ranking.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
i) Number of jobs-applied for per week
ii) Number of jobs-applied for in new occupations (i.e. different than previous occupation) per week
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Job-seekers coming into four Michigan one-stop job centers will fill out an intake survey the first time they come in, as part of the normal process of beginning to receive services at the one-stop job center. Individuals completing this intake survey will be asked if they want to participate in a research study about job-search tools. If they provide their informed consent, they will be invited to go to the app/website to fill out a baseline survey on their labor market beliefs. After completing this baseline survey, job-seekers will be randomly assigned to be offered website and app Treatment A, Treatment B, or the control treatment, all described in more detail above.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done in the job-search app/website by computer. Individuals are randomized individually when they fill out the baseline survey on the job-search app/website.
Randomization Unit
Individual job-seeker randomization into Treatment A, treatment group B, and the control group.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
4 Michigan Works Southwest Ofices
Sample size: planned number of observations
2500 job-seekers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
834: Treatment Group A (tailored job information)
833: Treatment Group B (general job information)
833: Control Group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
i) earnings information bias: unit is correlation, baseline mean is unknown, so we can only say that we estimate that the minimum detectable effect size will be .17 standard deviations ii) whether or not individuals switch two-digit occupation categories: unit is share switching two digit occupations, the minimum detectable effect size will be .08 percentage points, or .15 standard deviations, which is 33% of the expected baseline mean. iii) weekly earnings 12 weeks after filling out the baseline survey and starting the intervention: the minimum detectable effect size is $61 per week, which is .12 standard deviations and 11% of the baseline mean iv) days nonemployed within first 12 weeks after filling out the baseline survey and starting the intervention: the minimum detectable effect size will be 2.4 days nonemployed within the first 12 weeks of filling out the baseline survey, which is .12 standard deviations or 4.7% of the baseline mean.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
IRB Approval Date
2019-02-25
IRB Approval Number
19502