Stigma Against Community College Graduates in the Labor Market

Last registered on September 11, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Stigma Against Community College Graduates in the Labor Market
Initial registration date
September 11, 2019

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
September 16, 2019, 2:05 PM EDT

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

Last updated
September 11, 2023, 11:05 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Yale University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This study examines whether receiving an associate's degree from a community college harms a graduate's labor market prospect, conditional on the graduate also having received a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, if we detect any such effect on labor market outcomes, this study examines whether the effect is due to statistical discrimination or due to pure stigma against community college graduates.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Zhu, Zhengren. 2023. "Stigma Against Community College Graduates in the Labor Market." AEA RCT Registry. September 11.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Call back rate.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Call back is defined as a personal email or voicemail from an employer indicating an interest to invite the job applicant for an interview or an interest in knowing more information about the applicant.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Employer's quality.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Employer's quality is defined by a unified scale that would be further disclosed once the trial ends.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The study team send out artificial resumes through an online job search platform.
Experimental Design Details
The study send out artificial resumes through one of the largest online job search platform in the US. We use a total of 600+ artificial application resumes, and apply to jobs across the entire country in two occupations: accounting and sales. We subdivide the resumes into 8 groups defined by the occupation the resumes are designed for and the geographic location of the job applicants (West Coast, South, Midwest, and Northeast). Within each occupation-geography group, there are eight different types of resumes: selective 4-year 3.2 gpa, non-selective 4-year 3.2 gpa, community college + selective 4-year 3.2 gpa, community college + selective 4-year 3.4 gpa, community college + selective 4-year 3.6 gpa, community college + non-selective 4-year 3.2 gpa, community college + non-selective 4-year 3.4 gpa, community college + non-selective 4-year 3.6 gpa. The rest of the resumes, including relevant courses, employment experiences, and skills were randomized across the eight resumes. The names of the applicants were deliberately selected to indicate a Caucasian individual, and gender was evenly split.
Randomization Method
Randomization was done in office with random number generator.
Randomization Unit
Randomization unit is each of the 600+ individual resumes.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
600+ resumes.
Sample size: planned number of observations
3000~5000 job applications.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Each of the eight treatment arms (sel 4yr 3.2, no-sel 4yr 3.2, cc-sel 4yr 3.2, etc.) will have equal numbers of job applications.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
2.5-3 percentage point based on 20% expected callback rate

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Yale University Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents




Uploaded At: September 11, 2023


Post Trial Information

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials