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People I Know: Job Search and Social Networks

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  • Cingano, Federico
  • Rosolia, Alfonso

Abstract

We assess the information spillovers generated by the exchange of job-related information within networks of fellow workers exploiting administrative records covering all employment relationships established in a specific local labor market over 20 years. We recover individual-specific networks of former colleagues for a sample of workers exogenously displaced by firm closures and relate their subsequent unemployment duration to the share of employed contacts at displacement date. Individual-specific networks and the longitudinal dimension of the data allow to account for most plausible sources of omitted variable bias. In particular, identification rests on within-closure within-neighborhood and within-skill comparisons conditional of a wide range of predictors for the displaced and his contacts' employment status, such as lagged wages and labor market attachment. We find that contacts' current employment rate has statistically significant effects on unemployment duration: a one standard deviation increase in the network employment rate reduces unemployment duration by about 8 percent; as a benchmark, a one standard deviation increase in own wage at displacement is associated with a 10 percent lower unemployment duration. These effects are magnified if contacts recently searched for a job and if their current employer is closer, both in space and in skills requirements, to the displaced. We find that stronger ties and lower competition for the available information also speed up re-employment. A number of specification checks and indirect tests suggests the estimated spillover effect of contacts' current employment status is driven by information exchange rather than by other interaction mechanisms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6818.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6818

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Keywords: job search; social networks; spillover effects;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Battistin, Erich & Graziano, Clara & Parigi, Bruno M., 2012. "Connections and performance in bankers’ turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 470-487.
  2. Nordström Skans, Oskar & Kramarz, Francis, 2011. "When strong ties are strong – networks and youth labor market entry," Working Paper Series 2011:18, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2011. "Employment in Black Urban Labor Markets: Problems and Solutions," NBER Working Papers 16986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Judith K. Hellerstein & Melissa McInerney & David Neumark, 2008. "Neighbors And Co-Workers: The Importance Of Residential Labor Market Networks," NBER Working Papers 14201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Effrosyni Adamopoulou, 2012. "Peer Effects in Young Adults' Marital Decisions," Economics Working Papers we1228, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  6. Hellerstein, Judith K. & Kutzbach, Mark J. & Neumark, David, 2014. "Do labor market networks have an important spatial dimension?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 39-58.
  7. Simon Gemkow & Michael Neugart, 2011. "Referral hiring, endogenous social networks, and inequality: an agent-based analysis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 703-719, October.
  8. Damm, Anna Piil, 2014. "Neighborhood quality and labor market outcomes: Evidence from quasi-random neighborhood assignment of immigrants," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 139-166.

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