The study consists of three rounds of surveys – the baseline, the first follow-up, and the second follow-up (end-line). The baseline survey is administered in the beginning of the senior students’ last semester (Fall 2021) with a randomized treatment. A sample of senior college students with humanity and social sciences majors is collected and divided into three groups: Group 1 is male students without the information treatment, Group 2 is female students without the information treatment, and Group 3 is female students the with information treatment.
At baseline, Group 1 and 2 are compared to identify the existence of information frictions and their contributions to occupational segregation in college graduates’ job market. The survey includes rich questions about diverse job search methods and the search process, enabling the in-depth analysis that links heterogeneous search costs and information acquisition strategies to gender gaps in the information set of job-seekers, their aspirations and expectations.
Group 2 and 3 (both females) are compared for the experimental evaluation of the impact of provision of information on segregation. Group 3 (treatment group) is to be provided with the accurate information on four key characteristics – wages, work hours, welfare level, and job security – of representative job sectors (which include both male-dominated sectors and female-dominated sectors) that are calculated from the nationally-representative survey (annual Graduates Occupational Mobility Survey) of the first jobs of college graduates.
To secure the salience of the intervention, we adopt various strategies. To make sure that the participants read and understand the content of the information treatment, we let them write down the numbers provided in the information table in the blanks and evaluate whether those numbers are larger or smaller than expected. Furthermore, we provide numbers in relative terms to the benchmark sector so that participants can compare the numbers without difficulty. In general, we try to make students realize the gaps in different jobs in a cognitively easy way and observe whether this treatment affects their decision making in real settings.