Location, Search Costs and Youth Unemployment: Experimental Evidence from Transport Subsidies

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  • This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1111/ecoj.12509

Abstract

Do high search costs affect the labour market outcomes of job seekers living far away from jobs? I randomly assign transport subsidies to unemployed youth in urban Ethiopia. Treated respondents increase job search intensity, and are more likely to find good, permanent, jobs. Subsidies also induce a short-term reduction in temporary work. I use a high-frequency phone call survey to track the trajectory of search behaviour over time to show that the subsidies significantly increased job search intensity, and the use of formal search methods. The evidence suggests that cash constraints cause young people to give up looking for good jobs too early.

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