An Adaptive Targeted Field Experiment: Job Search Assistance for Refugees in Jordan

78 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2020

See all articles by Stefano Caria

Stefano Caria

University of Warwick

grant gordon

Columbia University

Maximilian Kasy

University of California, Berkeley

Simon Quinn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Soha Shami

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research

Alex Teytelboym

University of Oxford - St. Catherine's College

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

We introduce a novel methodology for adaptive targeted experiments. Our Tempered Thompson Algorithm balances the goals of maximizing the precision of treatment effect estimates and maximizing the welfare of experimental participants. A hierarchical Bayesian model allows us to adaptively target treatments at different groups. We implement our methodology in a field experiment. We examine the impact of three interventions designed to improve formal employment outcomes of Syrian refugees and local jobseekers in Jordan: one treatment to address liquidity constraints, one to address information frictions, and one to address challenges of self-control. Six weeks after being offered treatment, none of the interventions has a significant or meaningful impact on the probability that individuals are in wage employment; we estimate that our targeting algorithm had a positive but small effect on aggregate employment (approximately 1 percentage point). However, we find large employment effects of all treatments for refugees at the two-month follow-up, and suggestive evidence of four-month impacts for the cash grant; liquidity appears to be a key barrier to employment for refugees.

Keywords: adaptive experiments, refugees, job search

JEL Classification: C93, J6, O15

Suggested Citation

Caria, Stefano and gordon, grant and Kasy, Maximilian and Quinn, Simon and Shami, Soha and Teytelboym, Alex, An Adaptive Targeted Field Experiment: Job Search Assistance for Refugees in Jordan (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8535, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3689456

Stefano Caria (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Grant Gordon

Columbia University

Maximilian Kasy

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Simon Quinn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Soha Shami

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research ( email )

RAK Gas Building, Level 4
P.O. Box 12050
Ras Al Khaimah
United Arab Emirates

Alex Teytelboym

University of Oxford - St. Catherine's College ( email )

Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

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