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Using SMS to Transform Agricultural Labor Markets in Tanzania

Post - World Bank Development Impact Blog

Photo: CCAFS via Flickr.com

Guest Post – The World Bank Development Impact Blog

By Dahyeon Jeong

“Job search costs are high in rural labor markets in developing countries. Most farmers do not have access to the internet and there are no online job markets for agricultural daily laborers. There is rarely a central place where workers are gathered. As a consequence, the flow of information on jobs and wages is imperfect…In my job market paper, I study the effect of reducing search frictions on wage dispersion through a field experiment in Tanzania. To reduce job search costs, I develop an SMS-based messaging app that connects agricultural workers and employers. The app was designed to mimic an online job portal like Monster.com, except that ads are announced over feature phones without relying on internet access.”

ATAI provided pilot funding for this project in 2017. 

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