Jobs are difficult to find in Africa. Searching for jobs is usually expensive and time consuming. Job seekers, the young unemployed in particular, find it hard to be selected for the available positions. This raises the question: to what extent obstacles to job search contribute to labour market exclusion in Africa?
To answer this question, economists Abebe (EDRI) et al. contrast two different interventions, designed to alleviate spatial and informational constraints for unemployed youth in Addis Ababa: a transport subsidy and a job-application workshop. Both treatments have large positive effects on the probability of finding stable and formal jobs. Neither treatment has a significant average effect on the overall probability of employment, but they detect a sizeable increase in earnings and employment rates among the most disadvantaged job-seekers. The results highlight the importance of job-search constraints as mechanisms for exclusion of the most disadvantaged.
A non-technical summary of GLM|LIC Working Paper No. 34 “Anonymity or Distance? Job Search and Labour Market Exclusion in a Growing African City” is now available free of charge.