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Spatial versus Social Mismatch: The Strength of Weak Ties

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  • Zenou, Yves

    ()
    (Stockholm University)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide a new mechanism based on social interactions explaining why distance to jobs can have a negative impact on workers' labor-market outcomes, especially ethnic minorities. Building on Granovetter's idea that weak ties are superior to strong ties for providing support in getting a job, we develop a model in which workers who live far away from jobs tend to have less connections to weak ties. Because of the lack of good public transportation in the US, it is costly (both in terms of time and money) to commute to business centers to meet other types of people who can provide other sources of information about jobs. If distant minority workers mainly rely on their strong ties, who are more likely to be unemployed, there is then little chance of escaping unemployment. It is therefore the separation in both the social and physical space that prevents ethnic minorities from finding a job.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5507.

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Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Journal of Urban Economics, 2013, 74,113-132.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5507

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Keywords: social networks; labor market; weak ties; land rent;

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References

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  1. Bayer, Patrick & Ross, Stephen L., 2005. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 8, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  2. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 7060, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2004. "Strong and Weak Ties in Employment and Crime," Working Papers 180, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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  15. David Card & Jesse Rothstein, 2005. "Racial Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap," Working Papers 93, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
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  18. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "The strength of weak ties in crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-236, February.
  19. Bondonio, Daniele & Engberg, John, 2000. "Enterprise zones and local employment: evidence from the states' programs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 519-549, September.
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  23. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Stijn BAERT & Bart COCKX, 2013. "Pure Ethnic Gaps in Educational Attainment and School to Work Transitions. When Do They Arise?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013005, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. Dr Max Nathan, 2013. "The Wider Economic Impacts Of High-Skilled Migrants: A Survey Of The Literature," NIESR Discussion Papers 11607, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

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