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Job Referral Networks and the Determination of Earnings in Local Labor Markets

Referral networks may affect the efficiency and equity of labor market outcomes, but few studies have been able to identify earnings effects empirically. To make progress, I set up a model of on-the-job search in which referral networks channel information about high-paying jobs. I evaluate the model using employer-employee matched data for the U.S. linked to the Census block of residence for each worker. The referral effect is identified by variations in the quality of local referral networks within narrowly defined neighborhoods. I find, consistent with the model, a positive and significant role for local referral networks on the full distribution of earnings outcomes from job search.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2010/CES-WP-10-40.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 10-40.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:10-40
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