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JOB TRAINING, SELECTION AND SELF DISCOVERY
Last registered on August 22, 2014

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
JOB TRAINING, SELECTION AND SELF DISCOVERY
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000492
Initial registration date
August 21, 2014
Last updated
August 22, 2014 8:16 AM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
CAF - Development Bank of Latin America
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
CAF and IESA
PI Affiliation
CAF and IESA
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2010-03-01
End date
2012-02-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We randomly assign 1250 unemployed men and women to be invited once or twice to a specific-skills training program offered by a large multinational firm as part of its social responsibility efforts. Individuals with the lowest opportunity cost self-select into attending the program, which implies that the ability distribution of those invited but not registered, from which we draw our second group of invitees, is truncated from below. The impact of the first invitation is to decrease labor market participation, whereas the second invitation increases participation. We suggest that the program helps participants learn their own type (through interactions with other students), which is relatively low on average for the first group and relatively high for the second. First-invite treatments declare themselves to be less prepared for the job market relative to controls whereas second-invites feel better prepared as a result of the program. Socialization and selection effects may be important for job training programs.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
CAF, Pilar, Adriana Mata and Daniel Ortega. 2014. "JOB TRAINING, SELECTION AND SELF DISCOVERY." AEA RCT Registry. August 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.492-8.0.
Former Citation
CAF, Pilar, Adriana Mata and Daniel Ortega. 2014. "JOB TRAINING, SELECTION AND SELF DISCOVERY." AEA RCT Registry. August 22. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/492/history/2625.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
TPROG is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platform of a multinational company with longstanding operations in Venezuela and every other country in Latin America. With a focus on adult education, the program has five thematic areas: hospitality, retail, enterprise, bartending and teaching. The program's goal is to train (in a period of 2 months) unemployed or informal workers in skills that enable them to expand their employment opportunities, increase their income and strengthen their civic values. This program is replicated throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, as it is TFIRM’s most prominent CSR initiative in the region.
The program’s 2010 edition in Venezuela consisted of two courses: Retailing and Bartender. Both courses were completely free and were aimed at people living in Caracas, over 18 years-old, unemployed or in the informal sector, and who at the time of the invitation had completed at least the 3rd year of high school (9th grade of basic education).

Eligible individuals could choose between the two types of training, each offered in different locations: Retailing, offered in “Sabana Grande” a very accessible commercial area in the center of Caracas, and Bartender, located on the southern outskirts of the city on the campus of Simón Bolívar University in the “Sartenejas Valley”. The retailing course includes marketing topics, product display in shelves and aisles, customer service and stock administration, and the Bartender course trains participants in the preparation of drinks and spirits, customer service, hospitality, English and Flair practices. Both courses were certified by the Simon Bolivar University (one of the most prestigious universities in the country), for a period of two months, 3 days a week, part time. Both courses included personal growth modules, responsible drinking and job readiness training. Only participants with less than 3 absences could get the course’s final certification.

Additionally, program attendees enjoyed free transportation to the farther location, refreshments on site and awards for perfect attendance.
Intervention Start Date
2010-04-01
Intervention End Date
2010-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Labor market participation, employment status, self perceptions on labor market readiness
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
First experiment

The first phase consisted in finding eligible candidates for the training program. This was done via regular household surveys based on the polling firm’s master sampling framework for the city of Caracas2. This process provided the baseline survey as well as the experimental population, which was set at 1250 eligible men and women. 888 individuals were randomly assigned to being invited to the training program, leaving 362 in the control group. The eligibility filters were the following:

- Hometown: Caracas / Metropolitan Area
- Age: over 18 and under 60 years-old
- Education level: at least 9th grade of Basic Education
- Employment status: one of the following options: having odd jobs, unemployed, looking for permanent job, doing housework, participate in state-funded programs
- Declares interest in participating in the training program.

The entire sample was then contacted by phone to inform on their formal invitation status. People who were part of the treatment group were informed about the registration dates and subsequent steps. People who were part of the control group were also contacted by phone and informed that they were part of a second phase program that would begin later and they would be contacted again with information on the new registration dates. In order to ensure the programs’ participant quotas were met, there were other selection mechanisms into the program running in parallel to the experiment described here. These mechanisms largely rely on TFIRM’s network of retail clients and partners, who select and propose potential trainees, who are generally then invited to participate.


Second experiment

Of the originally invited 888, 772 did not attend the training program, so we randomly selected 623 (80%) of them to be invited a second time. For this second cohort, only the retailing course was available, but this time it was offered in 4 locations throughout the city: “Montalban”, “Caricuao”, “Catia (The Silsa)” and “Sabana Grande”. People who were re-contacted could not choose the venue, but were instead assigned to the one closest to their home.


Follow-up

A year after starting the first course (May 2011), the same market research company tried to contact the original 1250 interviewees for the follow-up survey. Due to administrative considerations, a one month time limit for the follow-up survey was established. The idea was to start tracking the maximum number of participants by phone and proceed with the face-to-face interview (at home) only for those which they could not locate after 3 phone contacts. After two weeks, 411 telephone interviews were obtained, but in the following two, we were able to contact only 189 participants at home. The total follow-up sample contains 600 interviews, 48% of the initial experimental sample. Figure 1 describes the timing of the data collection process as well as the interventions.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1250 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
1250 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
First experiment: 888 individuals assigned to participate in training and 362 assigned to be part of the control group.
Second experiment: 623 of the original 888 assigned to treatment were re-invited because they did not attend the training sessions.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
December 31, 2010, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
June 01, 2011, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
600 individuals (147 actually attended the training and 82 received certification. It was not possible to contact all of them)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
600 individuals contacted at follow-up
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Experiment 1: 424 from two treatment groups and 176 from control group
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers
Abstract
We randomly assign 1250 unemployed men and women to be invited once or twice to a specific-skills training program offered by a large multinational firm as part of its social responsibility efforts. Individuals with the lowest opportunity cost self-select into attending the program, which implies that the ability distribution of those invited but not registered, from which we draw our second group of invitees, is truncated from below. The impact of the first invitation is to decrease labor market participation, whereas the second invitation increases participation. We suggest that the program helps participants learn their own type (through interactions with other students), which is relatively low on average for the first group and relatively high for the second. First-invite treatments declare themselves to be less prepared for the job market relative to controls whereas second-invites feel better prepared as a result of the program. Socialization and selection effects may be important for job training programs.
Citation
Ortega, Daniel and Mata, Adriana (2013) "JOB TRAINING, SELECTION AND SELF DISCOVERY". CAF Working Papers. N° 2013/07.