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

72 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2016

See all articles by Girum Tefera Abebe

Girum Tefera Abebe

Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI)

Stefano Caria

University of Oxford

Marcel Fafchamps

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Paolo Falco

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Simon Franklin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Simon Quinn

University of Oxford

Date Written: July 2016

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

Abebe, Girum Tefera and Caria, Stefano and Fafchamps, Marcel and Falco, Paolo and Franklin, Simon and Quinn, Simon R., Curse of Anonymity or Tyranny of Distance? The Impacts of Job-Search Support in Urban Ethiopia (July 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22409, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2810919

Girum Tefera Abebe (Contact Author)

Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) ( email )

P.O. Box 2479
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

Stefano Caria

University of Oxford

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Marcel Fafchamps

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Paolo Falco

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Simon Franklin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Simon R. Quinn

University of Oxford ( email )

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