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

38 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2019 Last revised: 27 Mar 2020

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); IZA

Guenther Koenig

Independent

Felix Schmidt

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Department of Economics

Daniel Schunk

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 16, 2019

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that self-regulation abilities play an important role for the job finding success of unemployed persons. We conduct a randomized controlled trial embedded in an established labor market reactivation program to examine the effect of a self-regulation training on job search effort of long-term unemployed participants. Our treatment involves teaching a self-regulation strategy based on mental contrasting with implementation intentions. 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 significant positive effect on labor market reintegration. We discuss several reasons for this null finding and conduct further exploratory analyses to learn about heterogeneous treatment effects.

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 (October 16, 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

IZA ( email )

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

Guenther Koenig

Independent ( email )

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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