About the Study

In 2017, the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) funded contractor Mathematica and its partners, American Institutes for Research, the Urban Institute, the W.E. Upjohn Institute, and ideas42, to assist with CEO’s Behavioral Interventions (BI) work, including developing rigorous impact evaluation design options for studying innovative program improvement strategies. In 2019, in partnership with the Employment and Training Administration, the BI team began investigating behavioral barriers to successful online job search. The BI team partnered with West Michigan Works! (WMW), a local workforce agency, to conduct the study “Applying Behavioral Insights to Inform Job Search: Evaluating Effects of a Behaviorally Informed Intervention on Job Search Online in West Michigan” from August 7, 2021 to March 3, 2022.

This Department of Labor-funded study was a result of the learning agenda process. It contributes to the labor evidence-base to inform the use of Behavioral Interventions in Labor programs and policies and addresses Departmental strategic goals and priorities.

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The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Institutional Review Board (IRB) review to ensure studies adhere to the highest ethical standards, review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.