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Social networks, job search methods and reservation wages: evidence for Germany

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Author Info

  • Marco Caliendo
  • Ricarda Schmidl
  • Arne Uhlendorff

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to analyze the role of social networks on the job search choices of the unemployed. If social networks convey useful information in the job search process, individuals with larger networks should experience a higher productivity of informal search channels. This in turn affects the choice of formal search intensity and the reservation wage. The paper seeks to test these search-theoretic implications of productive social networks empirically. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use the IZA Evaluation Dataset containing detailed information on job search behavior of recently unemployed individuals. Observing a rich array of personality traits and direct measures of the social network, the authors choose an identification approach based on observable characteristics using least squares and binary probit regression analysis. Findings – The findings confirm theoretical expectations. Individuals with larger networks use informal search channels more often and shift from formal to informal search. In addition to that, evidence is found for a positive relationship between network size and reservation wages. Research limitations/implications – The extent to which networks are used during job search most likely also depends on the quality of the network, which cannot be observed in the data. However, as the network significantly changes the observable formal job search effort of individuals, public job search monitoring policies should take these effects into account. Originality/value – The paper complements the previous body of literature on the role of social networks in the labor market that predominantly focuses on labor market outcomes. By highlighting the interaction between networks and job search choices the paper improves the understanding of realized labor market outcomes in the presence of networks.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 32 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7 (November)
Pages: 796-824

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:32:y:2011:i:7:p:796-824

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Related research

Keywords: Germany; Job search behaviour; Jobs; Social networks; Unemployment;

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References

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  1. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," NBER Working Papers 13810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Holzer, Harry J, 1988. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, January.
  3. Weber, Andrea & Mahringer, Helmut, 2006. "Choice and Success of Job Search Methods," IZA Discussion Papers 1939, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross & Giorgio Topa, 2008. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1150-1196, December.
  5. Luca P. Merlino Autonoma & Andrea Galeotti, 2009. "Endogenous job contact networks," 2009 Meeting Papers 133, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Bramoullé, Yann & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2004. "Social Networks and Labour Market Transitions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4523, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. van den Berg, Gerard J & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2001. "Counselling and Monitoring of Unemployed Workers: Theory and Evidence from a Controlled Social Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1056-1093, December.
  9. Koning, Pierre & Berg, Gerard J. van den & Ridder, Geert, 1997. "A structural analysis of job search methods and subsequent wages," Serie Research Memoranda 0036, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  10. Marco Caliendo & Deborah Cobb-Clark & Arne Uhlendorff, 2010. "Locus of Control and Job Search Strategies," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 979, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni & Jackson, Matthew O., 2007. "Networks in labor markets: Wage and employment dynamics and inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 27-46, January.
  12. Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Density, Social Networks and Job Search Methods: Theory and Application to Egypt," Working Paper Series 629, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  13. Mortensen, D. T. & Vishwanath, T., 1995. "Personal contacts and earnings: It is who you know!," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 103-104, March.
  14. Michele Pellizzari, 2004. "Do Friends and Relatives Really Help in Getting a Good Job?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0623, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  15. Lawrence M. Kahn & Stuart A. Low, 1988. "Systematic and Random Search A Synthesis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-20.
  16. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
  17. repec:ese:iserwp:2011-21 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1990. "Job Search Outcomes for the Employed and Unemployed," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 637-55, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Albrecht Glitz, 2013. "Coworker networks in the labour market," Economics Working Papers 1400, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Amelie F. Constant & Annabelle Krause & Ulf Rinne & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2010. "Economic Preferences and Attitudes of the Unemployed: Are Natives and Second Generation Migrants Alike?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1088, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Caliendo, Marco & Uhlendorff, Arne, 2010. "Determinanten des Suchverhaltens von Arbeitslosen: Ausgewählte Erkenntnisse basierend auf dem IZA Evaluationsdatensatz," IZA Discussion Papers 5379, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Constant, Amelie F. & Kahanec, Martin & Rinne, Ulf & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Ethnicity, Job Search and Labor Market Reintegration of the Unemployed," IZA Discussion Papers 4660, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Ronald Bachmann & Daniel Baumgarten, 2012. "How Do the Unemployed Search for a Job? – Evidence from the EU Labour Force Survey," Ruhr Economic Papers 0312, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  6. Krause, Annabelle, 2012. "Don't Worry, Be Happy? Happiness and Reemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 7107, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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