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On the Efficiency of Job Search with Social Networks

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  • PIERRE CAHUC
  • FRANÇOIS FONTAINE

Abstract

This paper provides a simple matching model in which unemployed workers and employers can be matched together through social networks and through more efficient, and also more costly, methods. In this framework, decentralized decisions to utilize social networks in the job search process can be inefficient and give rise to multiple equilibria. More precisely, in a decentralized equilibrium, social networks can be overutilized, with respect to an efficient allocation, in some circumstances and underutilized in others. Moreover, the existence of different job search methods can give rise to a higher job search intensity than the efficient one. This is in sharp contrast with the standard result, derived in matching models, according to which search intensity is always too low if not efficient. Finally, in the presence of different job search methods, conditional unemployment benefits hikes, which can be used as a coordination device to improve welfare when individuals. Copyright © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Cahuc & François Fontaine, 2009. "On the Efficiency of Job Search with Social Networks," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(3), pages 411-439, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:11:y:2009:i:3:p:411-439
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    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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