Time to Baccalaureate Degree in the Labor Market: A Field Experiment

Last registered on August 01, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Time to Baccalaureate Degree in the Labor Market: A Field Experiment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008782
Initial registration date
January 07, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
January 07, 2022, 11:31 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
August 01, 2022, 4:56 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Georgia State University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-01-17
End date
2022-11-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Among bachelor’s degree attaining students, only 58 percent complete within four years. Meanwhile, 26 percent complete in five years and 16 percent complete in 6 or more years. While most students experience substantial labor market returns from attending and completing college, little is known about the heterogeneity in these returns by how much time students take to complete their degree. Understanding this heterogeneity is important especially given the large opportunity costs associated with spending extra time enrolled in college. This study will fill this gap in the literature by studying the relationship between time to degree and labor market outcomes with a résumé audit study that randomly assigns the time to bachelor’s degree indicated on fictitious résumés that are sent to real job postings. A focus of the experiment will be assessing the interaction of the signals of time to degree and college quality. Graduating from a higher quality college could mitigate or exacerbate any time to degree penalties.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Bloem, Michael. 2022. "Time to Baccalaureate Degree in the Labor Market: A Field Experiment." AEA RCT Registry. August 01. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8782
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention is a resume audit experiment, where realistic, yet fictitious resumes--which vary systematically only by select treatment conditions--are submitted to real job postings.
Intervention Start Date
2022-01-17
Intervention End Date
2022-11-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcome is whether a resume receives a positive response from an employer.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment will involve submitting up to four résumés to each job opening. Following recommendations from Phillips (2019) to mitigate potential spillover bias among résumés sent to the same vacancy, each résumé sent will have an equal probability of being one of four résumé “types” (i.e., treatments). These four types represent the interaction between time to bachelor’s degree (four or six years) and the selectivity of the bachelor’s degree granting institution:
1) Four years to degree from a selective public institution
2) Four years to degree from a less selective public institution
3) Six years to degree from a selective public institution
4) Six years to degree from a less selective public institution.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization is done using the resume randomizer software developed by Lahey and Beasley (2009)
Randomization Unit
Resumes are randomized to create variation within job vacancy (employer).
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
~2,500 job vacancies (employers)
Sample size: planned number of observations
~10,000 resumes
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Resumes will be randomized to create equal sized groups among the four treatment conditions.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Georgia State University Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2021-10-17
IRB Approval Number
H22171
Analysis Plan

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