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Intergenerational Networks, Unemployment, and Persistent Inequality in South Africa

  • Jeremy R. Magruder

This paper examines the importance of network-based intergenerational correlations in South Africa. I use longitudinal data on young South Africans to examine the covariance of children's employment with the usefulness of parents in their job search. I find that fathers serve as useful network connections to their sons (not daughters), and that mothers do not seem to be useful network connections. The father-son effect is robust to alternate explanations of specific human capital and correlated networks. The size of this effect is large. Present fathers' utility as network connections may be responsible for a one-third increase in their sons' employment rates. (JEL D31, J12, J13, J24, J62, O15, Z13)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.2.1.62
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 62-85

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:2:y:2010:i:1:p:62-85
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.2.1.62
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  1. Esther Duflo, 2003. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25, June.
  2. Duflo, Esther & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "Participation and investment decisions in a retirement plan: the influence of colleagues' choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 121-148, July.
  3. Jeremy R. Magruder, 2012. "High Unemployment Yet Few Small Firms: The Role of Centralized Bargaining in South Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 138-66, July.
  4. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, November.
  5. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Michelle Adato & Michael Carter & Julian May, 2006. "Exploring poverty traps and social exclusion in South Africa using qualitative and quantitative data," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 226-247.
  8. Becketti, Sean, et al, 1988. "The Panel Study of Income Dynamics after Fourteen Years: An Evaluatio n," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 472-92, October.
  9. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2005. "Unemployment in South Africa, 1995-2003: Causes, Problems and Policies," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-010, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Marianne Bertrand & Douglas Miller & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2000. "Public Policy and Extended Families: Evidence from South Africa," NBER Working Papers 7594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Linda Datcher Loury, 2006. "Some Contacts Are More Equal than Others: Informal Networks, Job Tenure, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 299-318, April.
  12. Moll, Peter, 1996. "Compulsory Centralization of Collective Bargaining in South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 326-29, May.
  13. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Jorge Agüero & Michael R. Carter & Julian May, 2007. "Poverty and Inequality in the First Decade of South Africa's Democracy: What can be Learnt from Panel Data from KwaZulu-Natal?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(5), pages 782-812, November.
  15. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
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