Bridging the intention-behavior gap? The effect of plan-making prompts on job search and employment

Author(s): Rulof Burger , Martin Abel, Eliana Carranza, Patrizio Piraino

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP11/2018

Publication date: June 2018

Abstract:
We test 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 (15%) 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%) and employment (26%). Weekly reminders and peer-support sub-treatments do not improve the impacts of plan-making, suggesting that limited attention and accountability are unlikely mechanisms.

JEL Classification:
J64, J68, C93, D91

Keywords:
Action Plan; Job Search; Active Labor Market Policy

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