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Job fairs : matching firms and workers in a field experiment in Ethiopia

World Bank2017.06.19

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Do matching frictions affect youth employment in developing countries? This paper studies a randomized controlled trial of job fairs in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The job fairs match firms with a representative sample of young, educated job-seekers. The meetings at the fairs create very few jobs: one for approximately 10 firms that attended. The paper explores reasons for this, and finds significant evidence for mismatched expectations: about wages, about firms' requirements, and the average quality of job-seekers. There is evidence of learning and updating of beliefs in the aftermath of the fair. This changes behavior: both workers and firms invest more in formal job search after the fairs.

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