Bridging the Intention-Behavior Gap? The Effect of Plan-Making Prompts on Job Search and Employment

39 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2017 Last revised: 21 Dec 2017

See all articles by Martin Abel

Martin Abel

Harvard University

Rulof Burger

Stellenbosch University

Eliana Carranza

World Bank

Patrizio Piraino

University of Cape Town - Faculty of Commerce - School of Economics

Date Written: September 6, 2017

Abstract

The paper tests 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 (by 15 percent) 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 percent) and employment (26 percent). Weekly reminders and peer-support sub-treatments do not improve the impacts of plan-making, suggesting that limited attention and accountability are unlikely mechanisms.

Keywords: Rural Labor Markets

Suggested Citation

Abel, Martin and Burger, Rulof and Carranza, Eliana and Piraino, Patrizio, Bridging the Intention-Behavior Gap? The Effect of Plan-Making Prompts on Job Search and Employment (September 6, 2017). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8181. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3033331

Martin Abel (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Rulof Burger

Stellenbosch University ( email )

Private Bag X1
Stellenbosch, Western Cape 7602
South Africa

Eliana Carranza

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Patrizio Piraino

University of Cape Town - Faculty of Commerce - School of Economics ( email )

South Africa

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