Unemployment and Employability: Intervention to Study Effectiveness of Online Job Information on Job Search in Saudi Arabia

Last registered on March 10, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Unemployment and Employability: Intervention to Study Effectiveness of Online Job Information on Job Search in Saudi Arabia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007258
Initial registration date
March 09, 2021

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
March 10, 2021, 9:35 AM EST

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Harvard University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Middlebury College
PI Affiliation
Yale University

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2017-03-08
End date
2022-12-15
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study evaluates the effect of Saudi Arabia’s unemployment insurance (UI) program (Hafiz) on labor market outcomes. We first use administrative data to analyze how behavior changes before and after the 12-month unemployment insurance. To better understand the effect of providing information to Hafiz beneficiaries, we then implement three experiments. The first experiment, (1) Q5 Employment Bonus, presents treated individuals with information about the Qarar 5 (Q5) employment bonus program. The Q5 program was designed to reward early exist from Hafiz, by structuring employment bonus amounts to increase with the number of remaining UI payments. The second experiment, (2) Employment Trends, first asks respondents to estimate the share of women in different economic sectors of the country and then presents the actual percentage. Finally, the third experiment, (3) Employer Demand for Women, asks respondents to estimate the share of women that receive interview requests from certain employment sectors, and then presents the actual shares.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Abel, Martin, Rema Hanna and Rohini Pande. 2021. "Unemployment and Employability: Intervention to Study Effectiveness of Online Job Information on Job Search in Saudi Arabia." AEA RCT Registry. March 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7258
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
To better understand the effect of providing information to Hafiz beneficiaries, we implement three experiments. The first experiment, (1) Q5 Employment Bonus, presents treated individuals with information about the Qarar 5 (Q5) employment bonus program. The Q5 program was designed to reward early exist from Hafiz, by structuring employment bonus amounts to increase with the number of remaining UI payments. The second experiment, (2) Employment Trends, first asks respondents to estimate the share of women in different economic sectors of the country and then presents the actual percentage. Finally, the third experiment, (3) Employer Demand for Women, asks respondents to estimate the share of women that receive interview requests from certain employment sectors, and then presents the actual shares.
Intervention Start Date
2017-12-09
Intervention End Date
2018-02-21

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1) Interest in being contacted by Job Placement Center or the National Labor Gateway (NLG)
2) Number of job applications and whether the individual submitted an application through the NLG system applied dummy through NLG system
3) Employment outcomes
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
1) Dummy variable equal to one if the respondent answered “Yes” to question about being interested in being contacted about job opportunities, and zero otherwise.
2) Number of job applications submitted through the NLG system and whether the individual submitted an application through the NLG system (applied dummy)
3) Dummy variable equal to one if the respondent found a job 3 or 6 months after the treatment

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Information on job search channels and understanding of labor market in Saudi Arabia
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Longer survey which also collects information such as:
- How much money is being invested in looking for job
- How much of the Hafiz stipend was saved vs. spent
- Hypothetical Q5 bonus amounts for different scenarios (to measure understanding of the program)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We evaluate the effects of information provision through three experiments:

(1) Information on the Q5 Employment Bonus: The Q5 reemployment incentive program was launched in 2014 to incentivize Hafiz beneficiaries to seek employment opportunities before exhausting the total duration of unemployment benefits. The program was designed to reward early exit from Hafiz by providing an “employment bonus” payment to Hafiz beneficiaries that become employed and exit the program before the maximum duration of assistance. The amount of the bonus is structured as a fraction of the remaining unemployment assistance payments. Beneficiaries in the randomly assigned treatment group were presented with information on the Q5 employment bonus program. Then immediate results were collected for both the control and treatment groups; beneficiaries were asked if they were interested in being contacted by a Job Placement Center and if they were interested in searching for jobs on the NLG.

(2) Female Employment Trends: Beneficiaries were presented the share of women in 2010 in each of four different sectors—retail, education, financial services, and construction—and asked to estimate the share of women in 2015. Beneficiaries in the randomly assigned treatment group were shown the actual percentage of women in each sector in 2015 and asked to rate the importance of various barriers on female participation in the labor market. Then immediate results were collected for both the control and treatment groups; beneficiaries were asked if they were interested in being contacted by a Job Placement Center and if they were interested in searching for jobs on the NLG.

(3) Employer Demand for Female Workers: Beneficiaries were asked to estimate the percentage of women that received interview requests from employers in four different sectors: retail, education, financial services, and construction. Beneficiaries in the randomly assigned treatment group were shown the actual percentage of women that received interview requests. Then immediate results were collected for both the control and treatment groups; beneficiaries were asked if they were interested in being contacted by a Job Placement Center and if they were interested in searching for jobs on the NLG.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization was performed by the research team prior to the experiment. Out of the total sample, 2/3 went to the treatment group and 1/3 to control.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
NA
Sample size: planned number of observations
152,414 beneficiaries: (1) Q5 Employment Bonus: 60,921 beneficiaries (2) Employment Trends: 45,158 beneficiaries (3) Employer Demand for Women: 46,335 beneficiaries
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
NA
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Harvard University-Area Committee on the Use of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2017-03-08
IRB Approval Number
IRB 17-0008