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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BER Weekly

13 September 2021
It was a data-heavy week in SA, with the 2021Q2 real GDP data indicating that the economy had better-than-expected recovery momentum in the first half of the year. While growth remained solid in the second quarter, both the survey and actual data released last week revealed the significant impact that the range of shocks at the start of the third quarter...

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