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People I Know: Job Search and Social Networks

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  • Cingano, Federico
  • Rosolia, Alfonso

Abstract

We assess the information spillovers generated by the exchange of job-related information within networks of fellow workers exploiting administrative records covering all employment relationships established in a specific local labor market over 20 years. We recover individual-specific networks of former colleagues for a sample of workers exogenously displaced by firm closures and relate their subsequent unemployment duration to the share of employed contacts at displacement date. Individual-specific networks and the longitudinal dimension of the data allow to account for most plausible sources of omitted variable bias. In particular, identification rests on within-closure within-neighborhood and within-skill comparisons conditional of a wide range of predictors for the displaced and his contacts' employment status, such as lagged wages and labor market attachment. We find that contacts' current employment rate has statistically significant effects on unemployment duration: a one standard deviation increase in the network employment rate reduces unemployment duration by about 8 percent; as a benchmark, a one standard deviation increase in own wage at displacement is associated with a 10 percent lower unemployment duration. These effects are magnified if contacts recently searched for a job and if their current employer is closer, both in space and in skills requirements, to the displaced. We find that stronger ties and lower competition for the available information also speed up re-employment. A number of specification checks and indirect tests suggests the estimated spillover effect of contacts' current employment status is driven by information exchange rather than by other interaction mechanisms.

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  • Cingano, Federico & Rosolia, Alfonso, 2008. "People I Know: Job Search and Social Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 6818, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6818
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    Cited by:

    1. Cristian Bartolucci & Francesco Devicienti, 2012. "Better Workers Move to Better Firms: A Simple Test to Identify Sorting," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 259, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    2. Hellerstein, Judith K. & Kutzbach, Mark J. & Neumark, David, 2014. "Do labor market networks have an important spatial dimension?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 39-58.
    3. Adamopoulou, Effrosyni, 2012. "Peer Effects in Young Adults' Marital Decisions," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1228, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    4. Hellerstein, Judith K. & Kutzbach, Mark J. & Neumark, David, 2014. "Do labor market networks have an important spatial dimension?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 39-58.
    5. Judith K. Hellerstein & Melissa McInerney & David Neumark, 2011. "Neighbors and Coworkers: The Importance of Residential Labor Market Networks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 659-695.
    6. Jingcheng Fu & Martin Sefton & Richard Upward, 2017. "Social comparisons in job search: experimental evidence," Discussion Papers 2017-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    7. Glitz, Albrecht, 2017. "Coworker networks in the labour market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 218-230.
    8. Battisti, Michele, 2017. "High wage workers and high wage peers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 47-63.
    9. Kunze, Lars & Suppa, Nicolai, 2017. "Bowling alone or bowling at all? The effect of unemployment on social participation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 213-235.
    10. Simon Gemkow & Michael Neugart, 2011. "Referral hiring, endogenous social networks, and inequality: an agent-based analysis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 703-719, October.
    11. Federico Cingano & Marco Leonardi & Julián Messina & Giovanni Pica, 2016. "Employment Protection Legislation, Capital Investment and Access to Credit: Evidence from Italy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(595), pages 1798-1822, September.
    12. Damm, Anna Piil, 2014. "Neighborhood quality and labor market outcomes: Evidence from quasi-random neighborhood assignment of immigrants," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 139-166.
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    14. Stupnytska, Yuliia & Zaharieva, Anna, 2015. "Explaining U-shape of the referral hiring pattern in a search model with heterogeneous workers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 211-233.
    15. Marco Leonardi & Michele Pellizzari & Domenico Tabasso, 2015. "Wage compression within the firm," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 15081, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
    16. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2011. "Employment in Black Urban Labor Markets: Problems and Solutions," NBER Working Papers 16986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Wang, Chunchao & Zhang, Chenglei & Ni, Jinlan, 2015. "Social network, intra-network education spillover effect and rural–urban migrants' wages: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 156-168.
    18. Ronald Bachmann & Daniel Baumgarten, 2013. "How do the unemployed search for a job? – Evidence from the EU Labour Force Survey," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-25, December.
    19. Falco, Paolo & Haywood, Luke, 2016. "Entrepreneurship versus joblessness: Explaining the rise in self-employment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 245-265.
    20. Carlo Gianelle, 2014. "Labor market intermediaries make the world smaller," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(5), pages 951-981, November.
    21. Rao, Neel, 2016. "Social effects in employer learning: An analysis of siblings," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 24-36.
    22. Horváth, Gergely, 2014. "Occupational mismatch and social networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 442-468.
    23. Battistin, Erich & Graziano, Clara & Parigi, Bruno M., 2012. "Connections and performance in bankers’ turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 470-487.
    24. repec:eee:corfin:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:46-71 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    job search; social networks; spillover effects;

    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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