Network mechanisms and social ties in markets for low- and unskilled jobs: (theory and) evidence from North-India
AbstractAbstract: Workplace referrals may resolve incentive problems that arise due to incomplete contracts. We use an in-depth primary data set covering low- and unskilled migrants from Western Uttar Pradesh (India), to examine this and alternative explanations for referral-based recruitment. We find little evidence of referral screening for unobservable worker traits, but some support for a hypothesis of referral as a mechanism to enforce workforce discipline. Two observations back this conjecture: the high prevalence of strong kinship ties between referees and new recruits and that those who recruit are in more ‘prestigious’ jobs and therefore have higher stakes vis-à-vis their employer. These main findings are exposed to robustness checks to rule out rival explanations: that entry through a workplace insider merely reflects privileged access to job vacancy information; that workplace clustering results from preferences for working together or that the higher prevalence of referral for very young migrants that we observe may reflect that referral has an insurance dimension.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Bergen, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 14/11.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 15 Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Institutt for økonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway
Web page: http://www.uib.no/econ/en
More information through EDIRC
Work Migration; Social Networks; Screening; Moral Hazard;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-01-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-CTA-2012-01-03 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-LMA-2012-01-03 (Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, & Wages)
- NEP-MIG-2012-01-03 (Economics of Human Migration)
- NEP-NET-2012-01-03 (Network Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2012-01-03 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-URE-2012-01-03 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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