Training Jobseekers to Fill Understaffed Jobs: An Experimental Study on Information Barriers

Last registered on November 10, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Training Jobseekers to Fill Understaffed Jobs: An Experimental Study on Information Barriers
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008313
Initial registration date
October 12, 2021
Last updated
November 10, 2021, 4:07 AM EST

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-10-11
End date
2024-10-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
This study investigates the role of information frictions in explaining why jobseekers do not fill understaffed jobs. To do so, we design a low-cost informational intervention in cooperation with a Public Employment Service in Belgium. The intervention aims at addressing potential information frictions faced by jobseekers when making decisions about training. Specifically, the intervention consists in communicating, to a random subset of recent UI recipients, information on the advantages of following a training (and searching for a job) in a shortage occupation. We then study whether directly providing this information to jobseekers by email has an impact on their likelihood of following a training in (and ultimately entering) a shortage occupation.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Leduc, Elisabeth and Ilan Tojerow. 2021. "Training Jobseekers to Fill Understaffed Jobs: An Experimental Study on Information Barriers." AEA RCT Registry. November 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8313-1.1
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The Walloon Public Employment Service encourages jobseekers to follow trainings in shortage occupations, for free and while remaining eligible to UI benefits. Yet, these trainings are chronically undersubscribed. Our intervention consists in an informational outreach about these training opportunities and the advantages of enrolling in them. The aim is to determine whether information frictions about the trainings and related advantages could (partly) explain why jobseekers do not enrol in shortage occupation trainings.
Intervention Start Date
2021-10-11
Intervention End Date
2021-11-11

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Starting a training (for a shortage occupation or not); Finishing a training (for a shortage occupation or not); Entering employment (in a shortage occupation or not).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Signing up to an information session for a training; Signing up on the waiting list to follow a training (for a shortage occupation or not); Exiting the Unemployment Insurance; Time on Unemployment Insurance; Perceptions about the extent to which focusing their job search on shortage occupations is a good technique to increase their chances of finding a job; Perceptions about the extent to which following trainings is a good technique to increase one's chances of finding a job; Intent on following a training in the coming year; Perceptions about the support offered by the PES to follow a training.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The evaluation will rely on a randomized experiment in which the Public Employment Service (PES) will send emails to all individuals who were registered as UI recipients for at least one day between July and September 2021. An email will be sent to both control and treated individuals. The control group will receive an email inviting them to fill in a satisfaction survey about their experience with the PES, as is customary for the PES to do at the end of each quarter. The treatment group will receive the same email, augmented by information on shortage occupations and related training opportunities (and advantages of following these trainings). To measure the effects of the program, we will collect administrative data on training and employment from all study participants each year for at least two years after the time that the emails are sent.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be conducted based on the last number of the identification number of jobseekers. The random allocation to treatment and control group is done by the researchers and the PES does not intervene in this procedure.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
Between 50,000 and 60,000, depending on the number of people who register at the unemployment insurance between July and September 2021.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Between 25,000 and 30,000 individuals in control group and treatment group respectively (approximately half of included jobseekers in each arm)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
1.4 percentage point; proportional effect will depend on the base level, which is unknown at this point.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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