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Job matching, social network and word-of-mouth communication

Listed author(s):
  • Calvo-Armengol, Antoni
  • Zenou, Yves

Workers are embedded within a network of social relationships and can communicate through word-of-mouth. They can find a job either directly or through personal contacts. From this micro scenario, we derive an aggregate matching function that has the standard properties but fails to be homogeneous of degree one because of coordination failures between workers. We show that, when the network size increases, on average, the unemployed workers hear about more vacancies through their social network but, at the same time, it is more likely that multiple vacancies reach the same unemployed worker. Above a certain critical value, this job overcrowding becomes so important that job matches decrease with network size. We then establish existence and uniqueness of the labor market equilibrium and study its properties. In dense enough networks, the equilibrium unemployment rate increases with network size whereas the latter has an ambiguous effect on wages. Finally, we demonstrate that the decentralized market equilibrium is not efficient because of both search and network externalities.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 57 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 500-522

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:57:y:2005:i:3:p:500-522
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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  1. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-1454, September.
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  5. A. Banerjee & Drew Fudenberg, 2010. "Word-of-Mouth Communication and Social Learning," Levine's Working Paper Archive 425, David K. Levine.
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  7. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2000. "Looking into the black box: a survey of the matching function," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2122, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 1998. "Learning from Neighbours," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 595-621.
  9. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni, 2004. "Job contact networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 191-206, March.
  10. Pissarides, C A, 1979. "Job Matchings with State Employment Agencies and Random Search," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(356), pages 818-833, December.
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  12. Coles, Melvyn G & Smith, Eric, 1994. "Cross-Section Estimation of the Matching Function: Evidence from England and Wales," CEPR Discussion Papers 966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
  14. Anthony E. Smith & Yves Zenou, 2002. "Online Appendix to "A Discrete-Time Stochastic Model of Job Matching"," Technical Appendices zenou02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  15. Gerard R. Butters, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 465-491.
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  17. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
  18. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Social Networks and Crime Decisions: The Role of Social Structure in Facilitating Delinquent Behaviour," CEPR Discussion Papers 3966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 1998. "Pricing with frictions," Working Papers 98-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  20. Finneran, Lisa & Kelly, Morgan, 2003. "Social networks and inequality," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 282-299, March.
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  22. 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.
  23. Ricardo Lagos, 2000. "An Alternative Approach to Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 851-873, October.
  24. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, December.
  25. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-1418, December.
  26. Diamond, Peter A, 1981. "Mobility Costs, Frictional Unemployment, and Efficiency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 798-812, August.
  27. Smith, Tony E & Zenou, Yves, 2001. "A Discrete-Time Stochastic Model of Job Matching," CEPR Discussion Papers 3044, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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