Sharing with Friends: Job Information and Social Networks

Last registered on September 27, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Sharing with Friends: Job Information and Social Networks
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007564
Initial registration date
April 16, 2021
Last updated
September 27, 2021, 3:57 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Virginia

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
American University
PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-03-01
End date
2022-03-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Social networks are recognized to be important for labor market outcomes as job seekers rely upon their networks to find jobs. However, there is limited evidence about specifically what kind of job information flows through networks and how agents choose to disclose information with their connections. This project seeks to investigate these mechanisms through an experiment that varies the availability of job information and competition for the job among graduating college students in India. We then track how this information flows among student cohorts.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Chiplunkar, Gaurav, Erin Kelley and Gregory Lane. 2021. "Sharing with Friends: Job Information and Social Networks." AEA RCT Registry. September 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7564-2.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
For a period of six weeks, we design a small work-task (a “gig”) that takes approximately 30-45 minutes each week. The task involves finding five policy relevant articles on a particular topic for a researcher. The applicant must then summarize each article. Each week we change the type or article they have to find. For example we ask them to evaluate government policies in health one week, education the next, agriculture the next, or women’s empowerment.

While the task is identical across all groups in a given week, we experimentally vary two aspects: first, the wage i.e. for some batches/colleges, the task offers USD 5, whereas for others it offers USD 10. Second, we vary the "rivalry" in application for the task i.e. either make recruitment a rival or a non-rival activity. For non-rival recruitment, we tell a treated student that: "Here is a small task that will take 30-45 mins of your time and will pay you INR XX. This position is guaranteed to you if you decide to apply for it. There are limited spots and we are considering hiring others in their batch if you’d like to spread the word to others in your batch and encourage them to apply." For the rival recruitment, we tell a treated student that: "Here is a small task that will take 30-45 mins of your time and will pay you INR XX. There are limited spots and you can apply for this position as well as spread the word to others in your batch and encourage them to apply."
Intervention Start Date
2021-03-15
Intervention End Date
2021-05-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Job applications, knowledge of job openings, information sharing decision
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Performance on the job, heterogeneity by identify of recipient / provider of information
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We will focus heterogeneity of impacts based on the identity of the provider and recipient of the job / CV information. More specifically we will examine whether the gender, field of specialization, or baseline academic or cognitive ability matter for the type and degree of information flows.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
For each week, each batch will be allocated to one of four treatment groups or a control group. As mentioned before, we vary two aspects about the job, namely the wage (High and Low) and the number of students who will be recruited for the job (Rival and Non-Rival). Each week we select a new subset of students within the batch to hear about the job. Selected treatment job-seekers from each college are therefore assigned to one of four groups each week: {High Wage, Non-Rival}, {High Wage, Rival}, {Low Wage, Non-Rival}, {Low Wage, Rival}. Treated students are provided with a unique referral code which they can share with their friends. These friends must enter in this referral code when they apply, which enables us to track the spread of information within the social network.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
23 courses across 6 colleges
Sample size: planned number of observations
500 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
20-30% of students within each batch will be selected for treatment, while the others will be in the control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Institutional Review Board for Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Virginia
IRB Approval Date
2021-02-26
IRB Approval Number
3463
Analysis Plan

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