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Social welfare and wage inequality in search equilibrium with personal contacts

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  • Zaharieva, Anna

Abstract

This paper incorporates job search through personal contacts into an equilibrium matching model with a segregated labor market. Firms can post wage offers in the regular job market, alternatively they can save on advertising costs and rely on word-of-mouth communication. Wages are then negotiated ex-post between the firm and the applicant, so the model can generate wage premiums or penalties depending on the parameter of bargaining power. Moreover, this paper shows that the traditional Hosios (1990) condition continues to hold in an economy with family contacts but it fails to provide efficiency in the economy with weak ties. There are two reasons for the inefficiency. First, workers bargaining over wages do not internalize the positive external effect on their contacts, originating from a higher probability of finding a job. This network externality puts an upward pressure on wages so the market tightness in the referral market is distorted downwards. Second, weak ties do not act in full interest of the unemployed worker so their search intensity is inefficiently low. Finally, this paper shows that a combination of a hiring subsidy and a referral bonus can decentralize the efficient allocation in the economy with weak ties.

Suggested Citation

  • Zaharieva, Anna, 2013. "Social welfare and wage inequality in search equilibrium with personal contacts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 107-121.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:23:y:2013:i:c:p:107-121
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2013.05.002
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Yuanyuan & Wang, Le & Zhang, Min, 2017. "Informal Search, Bad Search? The Effects of Job Search Method on Wages among Rural Migrants in Urban China," IZA Discussion Papers 11058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Semih Tumen, 2016. "Informal versus formal search: Which yields better pay?," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 12(3), pages 257-277, September.
    3. Huiru Zhao & Sen Guo & Qi Zhang & Chunjie Li, 2014. "Social Welfare Evaluation of Electric Universal Service in China: From the Perspective of Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(8), pages 1-17, August.
    4. Zaharieva, Anna, 2015. "On the Puzzle of Diversification in Social Networks with Occupational Mismatch," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 547, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    5. Rebien, Martina & Stops, Michael & Zaharieva, Anna, 2017. "Formal search and referrals from a firm's perspective," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 578, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    6. Gauer, Florian & Landwehr, Jakob, 2016. "Continuous homophily and clustering in random networks," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 515, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    7. Zaharieva, Anna, 2015. "Social contacts and referrals in a labor market with on-the-job search," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 27-43.
    8. Rao, Neel, 2016. "Social effects in employer learning: An analysis of siblings," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 24-36.
    9. repec:bla:jpbect:v:19:y:2017:i:5:p:957-985 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Yuliia Stupnytska & Anna Zaharieva, 2017. "Optimal policy and the role of social contacts in a search model with heterogeneous workers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 19(5), pages 957-985, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Personal contacts; Referrals; Family job search; Social capital; Wages; Equilibrium efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General

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