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Social Interactions and Labour Market Outcomes in Cities

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  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

We develop a model where information about jobs is essentially obtained through friends and relatives, i.e. strong and weak ties. Workers commute to a business centre to work and to interact with other people. We find that housing prices increase with the level of social interactions in the city because information about jobs is transmitted more rapidly and, as a result, individuals are more likely to be employed and to be able to pay higher land rents. We extend this framework to incorporate black and white workers. Because whites obtain a higher wage than blacks, they reside closer to jobs to save on commuting time costs. As a result, black workers experience a higher unemployment rate than white workers because they have little contact with weak ties (especially whites) and thus have limited access to job information, relying mainly on their strong ties, who are themselves likely to be unemployed. The lack of ties that act as diverse sources of information is therefore the main cause of blacks' unemployment.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6129.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6129

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Keywords: labour market; land rent; social networks; spatial mismatch; weak ties;

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References

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  1. Harris Selod & Yves Zenou, 2004. "City-structure, job search and labor discrimination : theory and policy implications," Research Unit Working Papers 0403, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  2. Laurent Gobillon & Harris Selod & Yves Zenou, 2007. "The Mechanisms of Spatial Mismatch," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(12), pages 2401-2427, November.
  3. Brueckner, Jan & Thisse, Jacques-François & Zenou, Yves, 2000. "Local Labour Markets, Job Matching and Urban Location," CEPR Discussion Papers 2612, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Brueckner, Jan K. & Largey, Ann G., 2008. "Social interaction and urban sprawl," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 18-34, July.
  5. 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.
  6. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond The Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, And The Evolution Of Ethnic And Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988, August.
  7. Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Efficiency Wages and Unemployment in Cities: The Case of High Relocation Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 4058, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Kan, Kamhon, 2007. "Residential mobility and social capital," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 436-457, May.
  9. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "Strong and Weak Ties in Employment and Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 5448, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Coralio Ballester & Antoni Calvo-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2005. "Who's Who in Networks. Wanted: the Key Player," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000586, www.najecon.org.
  11. Wasmer, Etienne & Zenou, Yves, 2002. "Does City Structure Affect Job Search and Welfare?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 515-541, May.
  12. Patrick Bayer & Stephen Ross & Giorgio Topa, 2005. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 11019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  14. Shihe Fu, 2005. "What Has Been Capitalized into Property Values: Human Capital, Social Capital, or Cultural Capital?," Working Papers 05-25, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  15. Vega-Redondo,Fernando, 2007. "Complex Social Networks," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521857406, April.
  16. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  17. Coulson, N Edward & Laing, Derek & Wang, Ping, 2001. "Spatial Mismatch in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 949-72, October.
  18. Neal, Derek, 2006. "Why Has Black-White Skill Convergence Stopped?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  19. Robert W. Helsley & William C. Strange, 2007. "Urban interactions and spatial structure," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 119-138, March.
  20. Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Urban Labour Economic Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 4029, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Topa, Giorgio, 2001. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 261-95, April.
  22. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Claire Dujardin & Florence Goffette-Nagot, 2009. "Neighborhood effects on unemployment ? A test à la Altonji," Working Papers 0924, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  2. Feng, Hao & Lu, Ming, 2013. "School quality and housing prices: Empirical evidence from a natural experiment in Shanghai, China," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 291-307.
  3. Gautier, Pieter A & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Car Ownership and the Labour Market of Ethnic Minorities," CEPR Discussion Papers 7061, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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