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Certifying skills of unemployed youths in South Africa
Last registered on December 09, 2015

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Certifying skills of unemployed youths in South Africa
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000819
Initial registration date
August 27, 2015
Last updated
December 09, 2015 8:57 PM EST
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Harvard University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Stellenbosch University
PI Affiliation
University of Cape Town
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2015-07-01
End date
2016-06-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This project tests two interventions to reduce information asymmetries in the low/medium-skill sector of the South African labor market. We invite unemployed youths, who registered with the South African Department of Labour, to one of two treatments: i) participants complete an aptitude test in English and Math and receive a certificates with the result, ii) provide job seekers with a reference letter template and encourage them to have it filled out by a previous employer.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Abel, Martin, Rulof Burger and Patrizio Piraino. 2015. "Certifying skills of unemployed youths in South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. December 09. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.819-2.0.
Former Citation
Abel, Martin, Rulof Burger and Patrizio Piraino. 2015. "Certifying skills of unemployed youths in South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. December 09. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/819/history/6273.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2015-07-01
Intervention End Date
2016-02-29
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We are interested in both job search behavior and in firm demand (e.g. interview invitations, job offers).

It is well known that many people leave metropolitan areas in December to migrate back to the area they grew up and where they often have family. We therefore expect that any surveys that ask about both job search behavior and employment outcomes maybe differ in this month. To account for this, we will control in regressions for whether people were surveyed in the month of December.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Job seekers registered with the Department of Labour are randomly assigned to different treatment groups (at the individual level). Random assignment is stratified by gender. The intended sample size is 1,500. Multiple rounds of follow-up data collections are administered via phone in the 6-9 months after the intervention.
Experimental Design Details
In the supply side intervention, the randomization happens as follows: We first establish a sampling frame by excluding whites, disabled, people with completed tertiary education from the ESSA sample. As part of the screening protocol, we screen people out that are either not looking for work or those who already have employment. We allocate workshop treatment arms, conditional on availability of government career counselors, across weeks to balance days of the week across treatment arms. We create a random order within our sample frame and then call people and invite to a specific day. If they are not available we invite them to the next day. This is akin to a rerandomization. At no point does either the phone caller nor the job seeker know what treatment is offered. The calling protocol is identical across all treatment and control groups. After 400 observations, we did the following modification: for those not available on the first day, instead of the next day, we specify a day in the following week with the same treatment arm.
Randomization Method
Randomization is done via STATA.
Randomization Unit
Individual. Stratified by gender.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
3-5
Sample size: planned number of observations
2000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
500
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Stellenbosch University IRB
IRB Approval Date
2015-04-16
IRB Approval Number
HS1171/2015
IRB Name
University of Cape Town IRB
IRB Approval Date
2015-03-25
IRB Approval Number
39-2015
IRB Name
Harvard University Committee on the Use of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2015-06-22
IRB Approval Number
IRB15-1258
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers