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The Remains of Informality in the Formal Sector: Social Networks and Wages in Senegal's Labor Market

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  • Berardi, Nicoletta

Abstract

We develop a theoretical framework that considers the role played by moral hazard and the diversity of networks and cultures in the choice of hiring channel. Our model explains why either informal or formal hiring channels are preferred and either positive or negative wage differentials emerge for workers hired through informal channels, depending on circumstances. We show that, conditional on being employed, in favoritism contexts social networks are likely to be adopted as hiring channels for unskilled jobs and to result in wage penalties and the more so the stronger the ties, while otherwise the opposite happens. We then estimate an endogenous switching model for the case of Senegal's manufacturing formal sector and we find, consistently with our theoretical predictions in case of favoritism, that informal hiring channels are preferred to full unskilled vacancies and are associated with a wage penalty. Moreover, the probability of having been hired through a social network and the absolute value of wage penalties are increasing with the strength of ties.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 09-129.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:22252

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Keywords: social networks; hiring channel; wage differential;

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  1. C. Kirabo Jackson & Henry S. Schneider, 2011. "Do Social Connections Reduce Moral Hazard? Evidence from the New York City Taxi Industry," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 244-67, July.
  2. Christine Binzel & Dietmar Fehr, 2010. "Social Relationships and Trust," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2010-028, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  3. Michele Pellizzari, 2010. "Do Friends and Relatives Really Help in Getting a Good Job?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(3), pages 494-510, April.
  4. Jeremy R. Magruder, 2010. "Intergenerational Networks, Unemployment, and Persistent Inequality in South Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 62-85, January.
  5. Fontaine, Francois, 2005. "Why Are Similar Workers Paid Differently? The Role of Social Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 1786, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Holzer, Harry J, 1988. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, January.
  7. Michael Lokshin & Zurab Sajaia, 2004. "Maximum likelihood estimation of endogenous switching regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 282-289, September.
  8. Saloner, Garth, 1985. "Old Boy Networks as Screening Mechanisms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 255-67, July.
  9. Kramarz, Francis & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2013. "When Strong Ties are Strong: Networks and Youth Labor Market Entry," CEPR Discussion Papers 9620, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Jean Paul Azam & Bruno Biais & Magueye Dia & Christine Maurel, 2001. "Informal and Formal Credit Markets and Credit Rationing in C�te D'Ivoire," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 520-534.
  11. Antoninis, Manos, 2006. "The wage effects from the use of personal contacts as hiring channels," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 133-146, January.
  12. Eric Delattre & Mareva Sabatier, 2007. "Social Capital and Wages: An Econometric Evaluation of Social Networking's Effects," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(2), pages 209-236, 06.
  13. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1056-1093, December.
  14. Fafchamps, Marcel & Moradi, Alexander, 2009. "Referral and Job Performance: Evidence from the Ghana Colonial Army," CEPR Discussion Papers 7408, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Sicilian, Paul, 1995. "Employer search and worker-firm match quality," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(35), pages 515-532.
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Cited by:
  1. Berardi, Nicoletta & Seabright, Paul, 2011. "Professional Network and Career Coevolution," CEPR Discussion Papers 8632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Garcia, Gustavo Adolfo & Nicodemo, Catia, 2013. "Job Search Channels, Neighborhood Effects and Wages Inequality in Developing Countries: The Colombian Case," IZA Discussion Papers 7336, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Yogo, Urbain Thierry, 2011. "Social Network and Job Quality: Evidence from Cameroon," MPRA Paper 44936, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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