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An experimental evaluation of active labor market programs

Last registered on January 08, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

An experimental evaluation of active labor market programs
Initial registration date
January 02, 2020

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
January 08, 2020, 2:07 PM EST

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


Primary Investigator

University of Adelaide and University of Bologna

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Trento

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The field experiment consists of a randomized control trial (RCT) in which two active labor market policies were randomly offered to unemployed workers in the fifth month of unemployment insurance receipt: a traditional job search assistance program (JSA, offered to 660 job seekers) or a reemployment voucher (RV, offered to 754 job seekers) consisting of a bonus for a specialized third party service provider (a lump sum payment of up to 5000 euros) if the provider successfully matches a job seeker with a new employer within six months. A third group of 1400 randomly-selected job seekers from the same population was assigned to a control group, which could not received JSA or RV for a period of six months.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Salomone, Riccardo and Giulio Zanella. 2020. "An experimental evaluation of active labor market programs." AEA RCT Registry. January 08.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


The RCT involves 2,814 job seekers randomly selected in the Spring of 2017 from the population of unemployed workers in the Province of Trento (Italy) who are receiving unemployment benefits and not benefiting from any active labor market policy at the time of selection. These job seekers were randomized into three distinct groups. First, a group of 660 individuals assigned to receive a job search assistance program consisting of between 10 and 40 hours of personalized coaching in writing an effective resume, searching job openings data bases, managing job interviews, as well as self-assessment and motivation. Second, a group of 754 workers assigned to receive a reemployment voucher which they can spend at a public or private provider to receive personalized reemployment services. Finally, 1400 workers are assigned to a control group which for six months cannot be enrolled in job search assistance activities or be offered a reemployment voucher. The 1,414 unemployed workers assigned to one of the two treatments received an identical letter from the public employment agency informing them of their eligibility for a program aimed at helping them finding a new job. This letter invited the recipients to show up at the local public employment agency office to receive more information and to activate the program. Activation was not mandatory (the letter could be ignored with no consequences for unemployment insurance receipt or future reemployment services).
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Employment status after four months and after six months from assignment to treatment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Given the nature of the randomization, we will compare outcomes by treatment status to identify the intention-to-treat effect. Moreover, by instrumenting take-up of the randomly offered policy by assignment status we will be able to identify the local average treatment effect by 2-stage least squares
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
2814 job seekers
Sample size: planned number of observations
2814 job seekers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
between 50 and 900 job seekers in each local employment center
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Given a standard deviation of 0.427 in the outcome of interest (whether employed after 6 months), a type I error rate of 5%, and a test power of 80%, a sample of 2814 job seekers allows us to detect a variation in the employment rate of at least 3.18 percentage points.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Employment Agency of the Trento Province
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
August 31, 2017, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
December 31, 2017, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
2814 job seekers
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
2814 job seekers
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
660 job seekers assigned to JSA treatment, 754 job seekers assigned to RV treatment, 1400 job seekers assigned to the control group
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

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Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials