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Research Paper: Job Counselling, Productivity Signals and Employment: The Value of Reference Letters - Experimental Evidence from South Africa Research Paper: Job Counselling, Productivity Signals and Employment: The Value of Reference Letters - Experimental Evidence from South Africa

This study investigates the role of information asymmetries in the low-skill sector in South Africa. It documents that information asymmetries are prevalent in this market and employers struggle to identify high ability job seekers. The study finds that a simple intervention - encouraging job seekers to obtain a standardized reference letter from a former employer - can lead to substantial improvements in firms' ability to select job seekers of higher ability from the large pool of applicants.

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Author Martin Abel, Rulof Burger. Patrizio Pirainoz