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Social Networks and Labor Markets: How Strong Ties Relate to Job Finding on Facebook’s Social Network

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  • Laura K. Gee
  • Jason Jones
  • Moira Burke

Abstract

Social networks are important for finding jobs, but which ties are most useful? Granovetter has suggested that “weak ties” are more valuable than “strong ties,” since strong ties have redundant information, while weak ties have new information. Using 6 million Facebook users’ data, we find evidence for the opposite. We proxy for job help by identifying people who eventually work with a pre-existing friend. Using objective tie strength measures and our job help proxy, we find that most people are helped through one of their numerous weak ties but a single stronger tie is significantly more valuable at the margin.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura K. Gee & Jason Jones & Moira Burke, 2017. "Social Networks and Labor Markets: How Strong Ties Relate to Job Finding on Facebook’s Social Network," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 485-518.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/686225
    DOI: 10.1086/686225
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    Cited by:

    1. Eliason, Marcus & Hensvik, Lena & Kramarz, Francis & Nordstrom Skans, Oskar, 2019. "Social Connections and the Sorting of Workers to Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 13672, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Eliason, Marcus & Hensvik, Lena & Kramarz, Francis & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2017. "The causal impact of social Connections on firms' outcomes," Working Paper Series 2017:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    3. Dickinson, David L. & Masclet, David & Peterle, Emmanuel, 2018. "Discrimination as favoritism: The private benefits and social costs of in-group favoritism in an experimental labor market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 220-236.
    4. Panle Jia Barwick & Yanyan Liu & Eleonora Patacchini & Qi Wu, 2019. "Information, Mobile Communication, and Referral Effects," NBER Working Papers 25873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Liangfei Qiu & Asoo Vakharia & Arunima Chhikara, 2019. "Multi-Dimensional Observational Learning in Social Networks: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 19-01, NET Institute.
    6. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:29-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Meta Brown & Elizabeth Setren & Giorgio Topa, 2016. "Do Informal Referrals Lead to Better Matches? Evidence from a Firm's Employee Referral System," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 161-209.
    8. Josue Ortega & Philipp Hergovich, 2017. "The Strength of Absent Ties: Social Integration via Online Dating," Papers 1709.10478, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2018.
    9. repec:eee:chieco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:70-82 is not listed on IDEAS

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