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Coworker Networks in the Labour Market

  • Albrecht Glitz

This paper studies the role coworker-based networks play for individual labour market outcomes. I analyse how the provision of labour market relevant information by former coworkers affects the employment probabilities and, if hired, the wages of male workers who have previously become unemployed as the result of an establishment closure. To identify the causal effect of an individual worker's network on labour market outcomes, I exploit exogenous variation in the strength of these networks that is due to the occurrence of mass-layoffs in the establishments of former coworkers. The empirical analysis is based on administrative data that comprise the universe of workers employed in Germany between 1980 and 2001. The results suggest a strong positive effect of a higher employment rate in a worker's network of former coworkers on his re-employment probability after displacement: a 10 percentage point increase in the prevailing employment rate in the network increases the re-employment probability by 7.5 percentage points. In contrast, there is no evidence of a statistically significant effect on wages.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 731.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:731
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  1. Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 1999. "Wages, experience and seniority," IFS Working Papers W99/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Uta Schönberg, 2011. "Referral-based Job Search Networks," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1114, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2003. "Networks in Labor Markets: Wage and Employment Dynamics and Inequality," Working Papers 55, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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  8. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Åslund, Olof, 2000. "Ethnic enclaves and the economic success of immigrants - evidence from a natural experiment," Working Paper Series 2000:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  9. Dahl, Gordon B. & Loken, Katrine Vellesen & Mogstad, Magne, 2012. "Peer Effects in Program Participation," IZA Discussion Papers 6681, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Giorgio Topa & Elizabeth Setren & Meta Brown, 2012. "Do Informal Referrals Lead to Better Matches? Evidence from a FirmÂ’'s Employee Referral System," 2012 Meeting Papers 648, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari & Silvia Redaelli, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions through Partially Overlapping Peer Groups," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 241-75, April.
  12. Javier Suarez & Samuel Bentolila & Claudio Michelacci, 2004. "Social Contacts and Occupational Choice," 2004 Meeting Papers 593, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. David Card & Laura Giuliano, 2011. "Peer Effects and Multiple Equilibria in the Risky Behavior of Friends," NBER Working Papers 17088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lori A. Beaman, 2012. "Social Networks and the Dynamics of Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Refugees Resettled in the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 128-161.
  15. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role Of Information And Social Interactions In Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence From A Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842, August.
  16. Piero Cipollone & Alfonso Rosolia, 2006. "Social Interactions in High School: Lessons from an Earthquake," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 596, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  17. Emmanuel Saez & Esther Duflo, 2003. "The role of information and social interactions in retirement plan decisions: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00141, The Field Experiments Website.
  18. Marco Caliendo & Ricarda Schmidl & Arne Uhlendorff, 2011. "Social networks, job search methods and reservation wages: evidence for Germany," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(7), pages 796-824, November.
  19. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Social Connections and Incentives in the Workplace: Evidence from Personnel Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 7114, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Akerlof, George A, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-75, June.
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