Social Contacts And Occupational Choice
AbstractSocial contacts help workers to find jobs, but those jobs need not be in the occupations where workers are most productive. Hence social contacts can generate mismatch between a worker's occupational choice and his comparative productive advantage. Thus economies with dense social networks can exhibit apparently low labor force quality and, as a result, low returns to firms' investment and depressed aggregate productivity. We employ US and European data for the 1990's to test the key prediction that social contacts distort workers' occupational choices in a direction that reduces their apparent productivity. We find that the use of social contacts helps find jobs one to two months sooner but leads to individual wage discounts of 5% to 7% and produces negative externalities on aggregate productivity.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CEMFI in its series Working Papers with number wp2004_06.
Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Mismatch; search; social mobility.;
Other versions of this item:
- Bentolila, Samuel & Michelacci, Claudio & Suarez, Javier, 2004. "Social Contacts and Occupational Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 4308, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Javier Suarez & Samuel Bentolila & Claudio Michelacci, 2004. "Social Contacts and Occupational Choice," 2004 Meeting Papers 593, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-10-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2004-10-18 (Business Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2004-04-25 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2004-10-18 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-URE-2004-04-25 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2000.
"The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development,"
NBER Working Papers
7563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 526-556, June.
- Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2000. "The Role of Social Capital In Financial Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 2383, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," CRSP working papers 511, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
- Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804, August.
- Adriana Kugler, 2002.
"Employee referrals and efficiency wages,"
Economics Working Papers
647, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004.
"The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 426-454, June.
- Matt Jackson, 2003. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000032, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Saloner, Garth, 1985. "Old Boy Networks as Screening Mechanisms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 255-67, July.
- Marmaros, David & Sacerdote, Bruce, 2002. "Peer and social networks in job search," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 870-879, May.
- Michele Pellizzari, 2004.
"Do Friends and Relatives Really Help in Getting a Good Job?,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0623, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Michele Pellizzari, 2010. "Do Friends and Relatives Really Help in Getting a Good Job?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(3), pages 494-510, April.
- George J. Borjas, 1994.
"Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human Capital Externalities,"
NBER Working Papers
4912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-90, June.
- Mortensen, D. T. & Vishwanath, T., 1995.
"Personal contacts and earnings: It is who you know!,"
Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 103-104, March.
- Mortensen, Dale T. & Vishwanath, Tara, 1994. "Personal contacts and earnings : It is who you know!," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 187-201, March.
- Luigi Pistaferri, 1999. "Informal Networks in the Italian Labor Market," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 58(3-4), pages 355-375, December.
- Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
- Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2003.
"Networks in Labor Markets: Wage and Employment Dynamics and Inequality,"
55, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- 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.
- Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
- Harry J. Holzer, 1986.
"Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth,"
NBER Working Papers
1859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Cawley & Karen Conneely & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1996. "Cognitive Ability, Wages, and Meritocracy," NBER Working Papers 5645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Norwood, Janet L, 1988. "The Measurement of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 284-88, May.
- Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-18, December.
- Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
- Simon, Curtis J & Warner, John T, 1992. "Matchmaker, Matchmaker: The Effect of Old Boy Networks on Job Match Quality, Earnings, and Tenure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 306-30, July.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Araceli Requerey).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.