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Curse of Anonymity or Tyranny of Distance? The Impacts of Job-Search Support in Urban Ethiopia

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  • Girum Abebe
  • Stefano Caria
  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Paolo Falco
  • Simon Franklin
  • Simon Quinn

Abstract

We conduct a randomized evaluation of two job-search support programs for urban youth in Ethiopia. One group of treated respondents receives a subsidy to cover the transport costs of job search. Another group participates in a job application workshop where their skills are certified and they are given orientation on how to make effective job applications. The two interventions are designed to lower spatial and informational barriers to employment. We find that both treatments significantly improve the quality of jobs that young jobseekers obtain. Impacts are concentrated among women and the least educated. Using rich high-frequency data from a phone survey, we are able to explore the mechanisms underlying the results; we show that while the transport subsidy increases both the intensity and the efficacy of job search, the job application workshop mainly operates through an increase in search efficacy. Both interventions mitigate the adverse effects of spatial constraints on employment outcomes, and the job application workshop alleviates informational asymmetries by helping workers to signal their ability.

Suggested Citation

  • Girum Abebe & Stefano Caria & Marcel Fafchamps & Paolo Falco & Simon Franklin & Simon Quinn, 2016. "Curse of Anonymity or Tyranny of Distance? The Impacts of Job-Search Support in Urban Ethiopia," NBER Working Papers 22409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22409
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Björn Nilsson, 2017. "The School-to-work transition in developing countries," Working Papers DT/2017/07, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    2. Abebe, Girum & Caria, Stefano & Fafchamps, Marcel & Falco, Paolo & Franklin, Simon & Quinn, Simon & Shilpi, Forhad, 2017. "Matching firms and workers in a field experiment in Ethiopia," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86572, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Livia Alfonsi & Oriana Bandiera & Vittorio Bassi & Robin Burgess & Imran Rasul & Munshi Sulaiman & Anna Vitali, 2017. "Tackling Youth Unemployment: Evidence from a Labour Market Experiment in Uganda," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers eopp64, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    4. repec:eee:deveco:v:130:y:2018:i:c:p:99-112 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. De Mel,Suresh & Mckenzie,David J. & Woodruff,Christopher M. & De Mel,Suresh & Mckenzie,David J. & Woodruff,Christopher M., 2016. "Labor drops : experimental evidence on the return to additional labor in microenterprises," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7924, The World Bank.
    6. Berhe Mekonnen Beyene and & Tsegay Gebrekidan Tekleselassie, 2018. "The State, Determinants, and Consequences of Skills Mismatch in the Ethiopian Labour Market," Working Papers 021, Ethiopian Development Research Institute.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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