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Family Networks and Youth Access to Jobs


  • O'Regan, Katherine M.
  • Quigley, John M.


Some networks may be more useful than others in affecting labor market outcomes. In particular, social contacts who are employed may be more useful in job referral than those who are not employed. Also, social networks containing non minority workers or male workers may have better and more extensive labor market contacts. This paper considers indirect evidence on the importance of job access via networks for the employment of urban youth. We measure the extent to which probabilities of employment and industry affiliation for urban youth are related to proxies for their access to informal networks. Proxies for labor market contacts include the labor market circumstances of other household members -- mothers, fathers, and siblings -- key members of a youth's social network. The empirical analysis is based upon 1980 PUMS data with more than 55,000 observations on at-home youth in the 47 largest US metropolitan areas. The large sample permits us to test for differences across race and sex of youth and parent in determining youth labor market outcomes. Our results support the importance of family networks in facilitating youth access to job. We also find some evidence that male parents are more important in affecting youth employment. These effects vary by race and are more important for whites.

Suggested Citation

  • O'Regan, Katherine M. & Quigley, John M., 1992. "Family Networks and Youth Access to Jobs," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt0b96s4b3, University of California Transportation Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt0b96s4b3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holzer, Harry J, 1987. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 446-452, June.
    2. Price, Richard & Mills, Edwin, 1985. "Race and residence in earnings determination," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-18, January.
    3. O'Regan, Katherine M. & Quigley, John M., 1991. "Labor market access and labor market outcomes for urban youth," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 277-293, July.
    4. John F. Kain, 1968. "Housing Segregation, Negro Employment, and Metropolitan Decentralization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 175-197.
    5. Harry J. Holzer, 1991. "The Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis: What Has the Evidence Shown?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 28(1), pages 105-122, February.
    6. Ihlanfeldt, Keith R. & Sjoquist, David L., 1991. "The role of space in determining the occupations of black and white workers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 295-315, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wasmer, Etienne & Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Does Space Affect Search? A Theory of Local Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Glaeser, Edward L., 2014. "Understanding housing: The intellectual legacy of John Quigley," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 3-12.
    3. Joshua Haimson & Lara Hulsey, "undated". "Making Joint Commitments: Roles of Schools, Employers, and Students in Implementing National Skill Standards," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6f00307c44bd42dda7303cc82, Mathematica Policy Research.
    4. Adriana D. Kugler, 1997. "Employee referrals and the inter-industry wage structure," Economics Working Papers 252, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    5. Whitaker, Stephan, 2016. "Industrial Composition and Intergenerational Mobility," Working Paper 1533, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    6. Randall W. Eberts, 1994. "Urban Labor Markets," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 95-32, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    7. Kugler, Adriana D., 2003. "Employee referrals and efficiency wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 531-556, October.
    8. Richard Arnott, 1998. "Economic Theory and the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 35(7), pages 1171-1185, June.
    9. Aaronson, Daniel & Bostic, Raphael W. & Huck, Paul & Townsend, Robert, 2004. "Supplier relationships and small business use of trade credit," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 46-67, January.
    10. Shin-Kun Peng & Ping Wang, 2003. "Sorting by Foot: Consumable Travel-for Local Public Good and Equilibrium Stratification," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 03-A008, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
    11. Yves Zenou, 2003. "The Spatial Aspects of Crime," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 459-467, 04/05.
    12. Tassier, Troy & Menczer, Filippo, 2008. "Social network structure, segregation, and equality in a labor market with referral hiring," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(3-4), pages 514-528, June.
    13. Ying Pan, 2011. "Born with The Right Surname: Lineage Networks and Political and Economic Opportunities in Rural China," Departmental Working Papers 2011-15, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    14. Antonio Cecchi & Enrico Giovannetti, 2006. "Spatial Mismatch and Mobility Involvements: a Common Approach for the Urban Sprawl Parma-Bologna," Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) 0026, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".

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