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Mexico Youth Labor Market Inclusion
Initial registration date
February 07, 2020
February 07, 2020 1:31 PM EST
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Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
The aim of this project is to promote formal employment and job permanence among youth in Mexico. The target population includes youth who are finishing 12th grade in upper-secondary schools of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The program consists of three main interventions: a labor market information workshop offered to all students in 12th grade, a set of self-affirmation exercises, and a wage subsidy for employment in the formal labor market. We experimentally study the impact of the latter two components on employment outcomes and earnings of targeted youth.
The program consists of three main interventions:
• Labor market information workshop: all 12th-grade students in the selected schools participate in a workshop to guide them in their job search process covering topics like creating a CV, where to look for job postings, how to prepare for a job interview, etc. The 3-hour workshop is tailored for this target population and it is led by personnel of the National Employment Service Office. The impact of this activity is not being evaluated.
• Wage subsidy: 12th-grade students in the selected schools are randomly assigned to either the treatment or the control group. The treatment implies the offering of a monthly wage subsidy for up to 6 months, conditional on finding and staying in a formal job in San Luis Potosi. • Self-affirmation exercises: 12th-grade students are randomly assigned to either the self-affirmation treatment or the control group. The treatment involves the invitation to participate in a series of self-affirmation exercises (like selecting values and writing an essay about how this value had and could apply either to their personal or professional life), while the control has some activities related to the use of technology.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcomes of interest include job search effort, employment in the formal labor market, wages and employment benefits, hours worked, employment spells, labor turnover.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Some of our secondary outcomes include: job match quality, job satisfaction, employment quality, professional and education expectations and trajectories.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Indexes for some of these outcomes will be constructed based on a series of observed and reported characteristics using the principal components and/or factor analysis methodology.
We selected a sample of 13 upper-secondary schools within 80km of the industrial zone of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. In the last months of the school year, students enrolled in 12th grade are asked for consent and surveyed one-to-one to learn about their baseline sociodemographic characteristics, employment trajectory, career expectations, socioemotional skills, among others.
This information is used to create the experimental groups, stratifying by gender and school type. The proposed randomized control trial is composed of 2076 young adults, who are randomly assigned either the treatment (T_WS) or control group (C_WS) for the wage subsidy to formal employment, as well as to self-affirmation activities (T_SA) or control activities (C_SA). This results in a 2x2 cross-randomization. The study will estimate each treatment effect separately, as well as the interaction between the two treatments. Some weeks later after the survey, all 12th-grade students are invited to a “Labor Market Information Workshop” during regular school hours within the school premises. The workshop is led by the staff of the National Employment Service, previously trained by the research team. At the end of the workshop, based on the random assignment, students in the T_SA complete the first of a series of self-affirmation exercises, while those in the C_SA complete a placebo exercise. They also receive an envelope with a personalized letter informing them whether they are eligible (T_WS) or not (C_WS) for a monthly wage subsidy for up to 6 months conditional on employment in the formal labor market, along with instructions to register for this benefit. Following the workshop, students in the self-affirmation treatment complete follow-up self-affirmation activities via SMS. To receive the wage subsidy, students offered the wage subsidy (T_WS) must complete an online registration process and provide monthly proof of employment once they obtain formal employment. We undertake two main rounds of data collection: a baseline survey (i.e. SES characteristics, professional trajectory, career expectations, socioemotional skills, etc.) prior to the workshop and a final follow-up survey to estimate mid-term effects of the program on various outcomes. Periodic two-way SMS messages are used to monitor participants' status and collect high-frequency information about employment trajectories of target youth. There will also be a phone midline survey administer to about half of the sample.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization is done in office by a computer, using statistical software.
The randomization was carried out at the student (individual) level, stratified by gender and school type.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
For the self-affirmation intervention: 50% treatment (N=1,038), 50% control (N=1,038).
For the wage subsidy intervention: 50% treatment (N=1,036), 50% control (N=1,040).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The minimum detectable effect size for the main outcomes is: 0.11 standard deviations for each intervention.
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Health Media Lab IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number