Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Learning Management Through Matching: A Field Experiment Using Mechanism Design

Author(s): Girum Abebe, Marcel Fafchamps, Michael Koelle and Simon Quinn

Publication Date: January 2020

Keyword(s): causal inference, field experiments, Management Practices, Propensity score and Self-employment

Programme Area(s): Development Economics

Abstract: We place young professionals into established firms to shadow middle managers. Using random assignment into program participation, we find positive average effects on wage employment, but no average effect on the likelihood of self-employment. We match individuals to firms using a deferred-acceptance algorithm, and show how this allows us to identify heterogeneous treatment effects by firm and intern characteristics. We find striking heterogeneity in self-employment effects, and show that some assignment mechanisms can substantially outperform random matching in generating employment and income effects. These results demonstrate the potential for matching algorithms to improve the design of field experiments.

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Bibliographic Reference

Abebe, G, Fafchamps, M, Koelle, M and Quinn, S. 2020. 'Learning Management Through Matching: A Field Experiment Using Mechanism Design'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.