Self-regulation Training and Job Search Behavior: A Natural Field Experiment Within an Active Labor Market Program

50 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2019

See all articles by Eva M. Berger

Eva M. Berger

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Department of Economics

Henning Hermes

NHH Bergen (FAIR / Department of Economics); Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz

Guenther Koenig

Independent

Felix Schmidt

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Department of Economics

Daniel Schunk

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 18, 2019

Abstract

Existing evidence suggests that self-regulation plays an important role in the job search process and labor market reintegration of unemployed persons. We conduct a randomized natural field experiment embedded in an established labor market reactivation program to examine the causal effect of conducting self-regulation training on the job search behavior of long-term unemployed participants. Our treatment involves teaching a self-regulation strategy based on mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII). We find that the treatment has a positive effect on the quality of application documents as well as on the probability of participants submitting their documents on time. However, we do not find a positive effect on labor market reintegration—possibly due to the short-term horizon of the data. Because the intervention is very low cost, a rollout to other programs might have high individual and social rates of return.

Keywords: active labor market policy; natural field experiment; job search behavior; unemployed; self-regulation; non-cognitive skills

JEL Classification: C93; J24; J64

Suggested Citation

Berger, Eva M. and Hermes, Henning and Koenig, Guenther and Schmidt, Felix and Schunk, Daniel, Self-regulation Training and Job Search Behavior: A Natural Field Experiment Within an Active Labor Market Program (June 18, 2019). NHH Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 13/2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3406717 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3406717

Eva M. Berger

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Department of Economics ( email )

Germany

Henning Hermes (Contact Author)

NHH Bergen (FAIR / Department of Economics) ( email )

Helleveien 30
Bergen, NO-5045
Norway

Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz ( email )

Germany

Guenther Koenig

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Felix Schmidt

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Department of Economics ( email )

Germany

Daniel Schunk

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Department of Economics ( email )

Germany

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