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SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper

Matching Firms and Workers in a Field Experiment in Ethiopia


Do matching frictions affect youth employment in developing countries? We organise job fairs in Addis Ababa, to match firms with a representative sample of young, educated job-seekers. We create very few jobs: one for approximately 10 firms that attended. We explore reasons for this, and find significant evidence for mismatched expectations: about wages, about firms requirements and about the average quality of job-seekers. We find evidence of learning and updating of beliefs in the aftermath of the fair. This changes behaviour: both workers and firms invest more in formal job search after the fairs.


Girum Abebe, Stefano Caria, Marcel Fafchamps, Paolo Falco, Simon Franklin, Simon Quinn and Forhad Shilpi

18 October 2017     Paper Number SERCDP0225

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This SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper is published under the centre's Urban programme.