Information, Reflection, and Successful Job Search: A Nudging Experiment
32 Pages Posted: 11 May 2020 Last revised: 2 Jul 2020
Date Written: April 15, 2020
When searching for a new job, unemployed young people face several challenges. They need to know which jobs are suited for them, where to find them and how to apply. Furthermore, especially in times of weak labour markets, they need resilience against repeated rejections. Previous research has shown that receiving information and reflecting on how to search for a job enhance self-efficacy and search motivation, thereby reducing the duration of unemployment spells. Following up on these results, we conducted an experiment in cooperation with the Austrian Ministry for Social Affairs which combines an “information nudge” with what we call “reflection nudge”. Our target group comprised about 37,000 young adults who had recently become unemployed. We designed different treatments containing an info-clip and/or a short online questionnaire. Links to the treatments were sent out by email. At the end of a six-month observation period, we used register data to compare unemployment duration within the treatment groups and the control group. Indeed, we do find significant treatment effects for young unemployed people with a low level of formal education. While effect sizes are small, considering the low costs of the intervention, efficiency is very high.
Keywords: job search, active labour market policy, nudging, experiment
JEL Classification: J68
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