Filling the gap: How information can help jobseekers

Interventions that fill gaps in labour market information can help people in developing countries find well-paid jobs. These interventions are much cheaper than common alternative policy options, and initial evidence suggests that firms can also benefit.

In developing countries, jobs are often poorly paid, informal, and unstable, trapping people in poverty and hindering economic growth. Improving the functioning of labour markets is thus a major priority for policymakers. However, a recent review of experimental evaluations of labour market policies in developing countries found that available interventions (training, wage subsidies, job search support) might not be particularly effective (McKenzie 2017). In this Growth Brief, we present new evidence on interventions that target gaps in labour market information. We find that interventions that certify skills are particularly effective at helping jobseekers secure higher-paying jobs. Earnings gains range between 10–30%. These interventions are also cheap, and thus highly cost-effective.