csae conference
Mind & Behaviour Research Group

The Mind and Behaviour Research Group brings together economists, psychiatrists, and psychologists based at the University of Oxford as part of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. Our aim is to investigate the psychological impact of living in poverty and use findings to improve policy programmes.

Learn more about our response to COVID-19

The safety and security of our staff and research partners remains our number one priority as we continue to adjust our research work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While fieldwork for ongoing projects has been temporarily suspended, we are still busy working at home thinking how best to carry on our research and apply our insights to the unique challenges COVID-19 poses

For further information on our contribution to the COVID-19 response including a new policy series and media round up, please click below.

Our research in the news

All news
Cost-effective labour market intervention toolkit adopted by UNDP Accelerator Lab Gambia to support young work-seekers impacted by COVID-19

The UNDP Accelerator Lab in The Gambia is launching an exciting new soft skills training programme for young people who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19. The program will be adopting a labour market intervention developed by Carranza, Garlick, Orkin and Rankin (2020) to reduce labour market friction between prospective employers and young work-seekers.

Using a recently developed toolkit (available on the MBRG website), the team will be delivering an evidence-based program, with iterative feedback from head hunting agencies, with the aims to increase job security. Gambia have adapted the intervention to the local context and are looking to do a six-month evaluation next year.

(With thanks to our sponsor, UKRI GCRF Accelerate Hub).

Assessing and certifying skills of youth in South Africa to address labour market frictions

Addressing information frictions by improving skills communication between work-seekers and potential employers can increase earnings and positive employment outcomes. Carranza, Garlick, Orkin and Rankin (2020) discuss how a skills assessment intervention has had positive outcomes for young work-seekers in South Africa.

Reducing labour market frictions: skills assessment intervention benefits both work-seekers and prospective employers in South Africa

Carranza, Garlick, Orkin and Rankin (2020) discuss their latest paper, showing that assessing young work-seekers’ skills can increase earnings and employment and help prospective employers too. With 67.6 million people aged 15-24 unemployed in 2019, the potential of this intervention to mitigate labour market frictions is exciting.