Stigma and Recruitment for Labor Market Assistance Programs

Last registered on July 18, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Stigma and Recruitment for Labor Market Assistance Programs
Initial registration date
July 08, 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
July 13, 2020, 3:54 PM EDT

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

Last updated
July 18, 2022, 10:00 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Memphis

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Aversion to “stigma” may contribute to low utilization of social programs, but empirical evidence of its importance is scarce. We use three randomized experiments focused on delivering labor market support to young people to test whether stigma can affect real life decisions. The first experiment recruits to a job training program using street-level marketing. The second experiment recruits unemployed youth to the same program via Facebook advertising.The third recruits for a job fair using door-to-door outreach. We randomize the recruitment message used and consider the information's effect on application and attendance rates, as well as selection on those who apply/attend.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Osman, Adam and Jamin Speer. 2022. "Stigma and Recruitment for Labor Market Assistance Programs." AEA RCT Registry. July 18.
Experimental Details


Our interventions are information messages used to recruit people to participate in labor market support programs. In the first two experiments we give people in the control group information about the program and in the treatment arms we provide additional information from prior graduates about how the program was helpful to them. In the third experiment we give people in the control information about an upcoming job fair and in one treatment arm we recognize the stigma associated with some of the jobs, and in a a second treatment are we try to dispel it.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Application Rates to Job Training, Attendance rate to the Job Fair
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Our first experiment used in-person, street-level marketing in different areas of Cairo. Young adults were approached on the street by a surveyor and asked if they were interested in hearing about a training program being offered for youth interested in finding jobs. If they answered yes, basic eligibility information was collected. If the person was eligible for the training program (as defined by the NGO), more information was collected and they received a randomized recruitment pitch from the surveyor. We gave pitches aimed at professional, personal and social stigma. Individuals in the control arm were given information about the program's purpose, location, timing, etc. They were also provided information about the income of individuals who graduated 1 year and 5 years ago. Those in the stigma treatment groups got the same information plus text that was almost identical to experiment 1

Experiment 2 was run on Facebook in late 2018. We tested three main ads. The control ad simply informed people about the training program, including the content, length, and format. We then adjusted the control ad to include additional information about ``social stigma'' and ``professional stigma''. In both cases, we collected testimonials from previous graduates of the training program that described how the types of stigma we thought people would be worried about were in fact not as important as the potential job-seekers may have thought.

In Experiment 3, we implemented a door-to-door information campaign in December 2019 that aimed to encourage people to attend a upcoming free job fair. The process was similar to the street-level recruitment in Experiment 1. Surveyors would go from apartment to apartment, asking if there was anyone in the household who was looking for a job. If yes, they would check to see if that individual was in the same age range as the training (18 to 35). They would then collect some basic demographic information and read a randomized informational message about the job fair.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization for the Facebook experiment was done by the facebook algorithm. Randomization for the other two experiments was done on a tablet in real time.
Randomization Unit
Experiment 1 and 2 were randomized at the individual level, experiment 3 was randomized at the building level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1000 buildings
Sample size: planned number of observations
767768 people on Facebook, 2900 for training and 1170 for job fairs
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Experiment 1: 747 control, 717 personal stigma, 723 professional stigma, 713 social stigma
Experiment 2: 242789 control, 266050 professional stigma, 258929 social stigma
Experiment 3: 404 control, 396 salient stigma, 370 dispelling stigma
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Illinois
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
University of Memphis
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


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