Information Intervention During Apprenticeship Search and Occupational Choices of Apprenticeship Applicants

Last registered on August 11, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Information Intervention During Apprenticeship Search and Occupational Choices of Apprenticeship Applicants
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007854
Initial registration date
August 11, 2021
Last updated
August 11, 2021, 3:59 PM EDT

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Zurich

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Zurich
PI Affiliation
University of Zurich

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-09-01
End date
2022-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Despite advancements toward gender equality in the past century, gender differences in occupational choices remain a strong feature of labor markets around the world. Little is known about effective interventions that counter these gender biased choices in general and about short, low-cost interventions in particular. We conduct a field experiment at a large Swiss private online job board for apprenticeship positions. Adolescent users of the job board are randomly assigned to information on gender-atypical occupations (STEM occupations for women; health and care occupations for men). We estimate whether assignment to the information treatment affects the gender-typicality of adolescents’ applications for apprenticeship occupations.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Backes-Gellner, Uschi, Patrick Lehnert and Patricia Palffy. 2021. "Information Intervention During Apprenticeship Search and Occupational Choices of Apprenticeship Applicants." AEA RCT Registry. August 11. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7854-1.0
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We investigate how a short, low-cost information intervention impacts the gender-typicality of adolescents’ occupational choices. For that purpose, we run a field experiment with a large private job board for apprenticeship positions in Switzerland. Users of the job board that are registered and logged-in will be randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group. Members of the treatment group will receive a gender-specific information treatment with (a) information on gender-atypical occupations (STEM occupations for women; health and care occupations for men) and (b) video material on role models in these occupations. Members of the control group will not receive an information treatment. Afterwards, we observe the apprenticeship occupations for which adolescents in the treatment group and in the control group apply for.
Intervention Start Date
2021-09-01
Intervention End Date
2022-04-01

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcome of interest is the occupational choice of apprenticeship applicants, i.e. they apply on the job board for apprenticeships at firms and we study whether the occupations of these applications are gender-typically male or female occupations. Specifically, we are interested in whether adolescents apply for gender-atypical occupations.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The occupational choice of apprenticeship applicants will be operationalized by adolescents’ real-life applications for apprenticeship positions in either typically female or typically male occupations. The application data we will use is the full universe of process generated data provided to us by the job board.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Additionally, we may be able to observe the applicants' information search after the intervention and/or the person-occupation fit in order to learn more about the mechanism of the effect (if made available by the job board, which is not clear yet).
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We conduct the field experiment among German speaking Swiss adolescents who apply via one of the most important job boards for apprenticeship positions. The field experiment is conducted in cooperation with a large private online job board for apprenticeship positions in Switzerland. Randomization is carried out by the job board at the individual level, using a computer-based randomization.
The experiment is designed as follows:
Registered, logged-in, and German speaking users of the job board will be assigned with p=0.5 between the two treatment groups.
We will estimate treatment effects for different subsamples of students. Specifically we will test treatment heterogeneity by:
- Gender
- Type of job advertisement: (a) advertisement of trial apprenticeships (German: “Schnupperlehren”); (b) advertisement of regular apprenticeship positions
- Age
- Region of the applicants’ residence
- Previous test results of applicants (if made available by job board, which is not clear yet)
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization is carried out by the apprenticeship job board at the individual level, using a computer.
Randomization Unit
individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
-
Sample size: planned number of observations
approx. 6,000 individuals (We estimate the number of observations in the following way: In 2020 198,000 applications were sent via the job board. Therefore, within the approx. six months during which our intervention will be implemented, about 99’000 applications can be expected. Because the average user sends 6 applications, we expect to observe applications of around 16,000 users. Of these 16,000 users we expect that about 40% are German-speaking and were already registered and visited the job board before applying.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
approx. 3,000 control, approx. 3,000 information treatments
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Human Subjects Committee of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics (OEC Human Subjects Committee), University of Zurich
IRB Approval Date
2021-06-29
IRB Approval Number
OEC IRB # 2021-051