Learning About Job Search: A Field Experiment with Job Seekers in Germany

51 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2015

See all articles by Steffen Altmann

Steffen Altmann

University of Copenhagen; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Armin Falk

briq - Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Simon Jäger

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; briq- Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Florian Zimmermann

University of Bonn

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 29, 2015

Abstract

We conduct a large-scale field experiment in the German labor market to investigate how information provision affects job seekers’ employment prospects and labor market outcomes. Individuals assigned to the treatment group of our experiment received a brochure that informed them about job search strategies and the consequences of unemployment, and motivated them to actively look for new employment. We study the causal impact of the brochure by comparing labor market outcomes of treated and untreated job seekers in administrative data containing comprehensive information on individuals’ employment status and earnings. While our treatment yields overall positive effects, these tend to be concentrated among job seekers who are at risk of being unemployed for an extended period of time. Specifically, the treatment effects in our overall sample are moderately positive but mostly insignificant. At the same time, we do observe pronounced and statistically significant effects for individuals who exhibit an increased risk of long-term unemployment. For this group, the brochure increases employment and earnings in the year after the intervention by roughly 4%. Given the low cost of the intervention, our findings indicate that targeted information provision can be a highly effective policy tool in the labor market.

Keywords: job search, information provision, unemployment, field experiment

JEL Classification: C930, D040, D830, J640, J680

Suggested Citation

Altmann, Steffen and Falk, Armin and Jäger, Simon and Zimmermann, Florian, Learning About Job Search: A Field Experiment with Job Seekers in Germany (May 29, 2015). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5355. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2613354

Steffen Altmann

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Armin Falk

briq - Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Schaumburg-Lippe-Straße 5-9
Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.briq-institute.org/

Simon Jäger

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

briq- Institute on Behavior & Inequality ( email )

Schaumburg-Lippe-Straße 5-9
Bonn, 53113
Germany

Florian Zimmermann (Contact Author)

University of Bonn ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

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