Bridging the intention-behavior gap? The effect of plan-making prompts on job search and employment

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP11/2018
 
Publication date: June 2018
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Middlebury College)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
[protected email address] (World Bank)
[protected email address] (University of Cape Town)
 
Abstract:

We test the effects of plan-making on job search and employment. In a field experiment with unemployed youths, participants who complete a detailed job search plan increase the number of job applications submitted (15%) but not the time spent searching, consistent with intention-behavior gaps observed at baseline. Job seekers in the plan-making group diversify their search strategy and use more formal search channels. This greater search efficiency and effectiveness translate into more job offers (30%) and employment (26%). Weekly reminders and peer-support sub-treatments do not improve the impacts of plan-making, suggesting that limited attention and accountability are unlikely mechanisms.

 
JEL Classification:

J64, J68, C93, D91

Keywords:

Action Plan; Job Search; Active Labor Market Policy

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The week started with news of the confirmation of the $4.3 billion (bn) loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through its Rapid Financing Instrument. In the process of obtaining the loan, the government re-committed itself to the fiscal consolidation outlined in the supplementary budget presented in June, including to introduce zero-based...

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