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Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment

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  • Harry J. Holzer

Abstract

In this paper I analyze how young black and white unemployed jobseekers use various methods of search, and the employment outcomes which result from their use.The focus is on distinguishing informal search methods (i.e.,friends and relatives or direct application without referral) from more formal ones in analyzing racial differences.The results show that the two informal methods of search account for about 90% of the difference in employment probabilities between white and black youth. This also accounts for 57-71% of the difference in unemployment rates between the two. Furthermore, most of these results reflect differences in the ability of these methods to generate job offers, as opposed to differences in search effort or job acceptance rates. However, our ability to explain these differences through personal, family, and household characteristics was generally quite limited.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1860.

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Date of creation: Mar 1986
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Publication status: published as Holzer, Harry J. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," American Economic Review, Vol. 77, No. 3, June 1987, pp. 446-452.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1860

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  1. Freeman, Richard B. & Holzer, Harry J. (ed.), 1986. "The Black Youth Employment Crisis," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226261645, April.
  2. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1978. "Unionism and Wage Rates: A Simultaneous Equations Model with Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 415-33, June.
  3. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," NBER Working Papers 1859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Richard B. Freeman, 1979. "Why is There A Youth Labor Market Problem?," NBER Working Papers 0365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
  6. Albert E. Rees & Wayne B. Gray, 1979. "Family Effects in Youth Employment," NBER Working Papers 0396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Barron, John M & Gilley, Otis W, 1981. "Job Search and Vacancy Contacts: Note," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 747-52, September.
  8. Datcher, Linda, 1983. "The Impact of Informal Networks of Quit Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 491-95, August.
  9. John M. Barron & Wesley Mellow, 1979. "Search Effort in the Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 389-404.
  10. Chirinko, Robert S, 1982. "An Empirical Investigation of the Returns to Job Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 498-501, June.
  11. John Ballen & Richard B. Freeman, 1986. "Transitions between Employment and Nonemployment," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 75-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S7-36, October.
  13. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Chapters, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 199-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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