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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-10) Delavallade, ClaraMotivating service providers to improve the quality of public service delivery is a major development challenge across the globe. This is particularly relevant for women, who are over-represented as providers of essential public services such as healthcare and education in Africa. In the context of a national school nutrition program in the Western Cape province of South Africa, the authors offered either private feedback or public recognition to female school-feeding teams to examine the effectiveness of different incentives schemes when financial rewards are not available. Receiving private feedback on performance boosted workers’ effort more than public recognition. These results suggest that providing performance feedback can be an effective policy for motivating female teams and improving service delivery, more so than mechanisms leveraging public image.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-04) Carranza, Eliana ; Pimkina, SvetlanaThe labor market is characterized by information gaps between work seekers and prospective employers, particularly when it comes to hiring low-skill entry level workers. Information asymmetries about workers’ skills can result in poorer matches, lower productivity for employers, and increased inequity for the unemployed. One approach to resolving the asymmetry is introducing a formal referral system: reference letters from former employers. The authors finds that reference letters improve firms’ screening ability and employment outcomes, especially for women. Despite their high value, the use of reference letters in job applications is low, partly due to work seekers underestimating their value.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-04) Carranza, Eliana ; Pimkina, SvetlanaJob search is a largely self-regulated process, subject to behavioralbiases that lead to sub-optimal search and employment outcomes.Within this context, we designed, implemented and tested anaction-planning tool to promote greater job search intensity.We find that action planning helps unemployed youths to follow through on their job search intentions, and adopt a more efficient and effective search strategy. Greater search efficiency and effectiveness translates to sizeable improvements in employment outcomes. Given that a rising number of young people globally are not enrolled in education, employed, or searching for work it is particularly important to understand how to optimize the job search process. There is suggestive evidence that in the presence of high and persistent unemployment, South African youth are becoming increasingly discouraged in their job search.