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Social Interactions and the Labor Market

  • Zenou, Yves

To better understand the way social networks operate in the labor market, we propose two simple models where individuals help each other finding a job. In the first one, job information flows between individuals having a link with each other and we show that an equilibrium with a clustering of workers with the same status is likely to emerge since, in the long run, employed workers tend to be friends with employed workers. In the second model, individuals interact with both strong and weak ties and decide how much time they spend with each of them. As in Granovetter, this model stresses the strength of weak ties in finding a job because they involve a secondary ring of acquaintances who have contacts with networks outside ego's network and therefore offer new sources of information on job opportunities. We then discuss some policy implications showing how these models can explain why ethnic minorities tend to experience higher unemployment rate than workers from the majority group.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9180.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9180
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  1. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Job matching, social network and word-of-mouth communication," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 500-522, May.
  2. Sergio Currarini & Matthew O. Jackson & Paolo Pin, 2009. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities, and Segregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1003-1045, 07.
  3. Michele Pellizzari, 2004. "Do friends and relatives really help in getting a good job?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19980, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Battu, Harminder & Seaman, Paul T & Zenou, Yves, 2010. "Job Contact Networks and the Ethnic Minorities," CEPR Discussion Papers 8135, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Strong and weak ties in employment and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 203-233, February.
  6. Cutler, David & Vigdor, Jacob & Glaeser, Edward, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Scholarly Articles 2770033, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Battu, Harminder & Mwale, MacDonald & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Oppositional Identities and the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5351, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. John T. Addison & Pedro Portugal, 2002. "Job search methods and outcomes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 505-533, July.
  9. Andersson, Fredrik & Burgess, Simon & Lane, Julia, 2009. "Do as the Neighbors Do: The Impact of Social Networks on Immigrant Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 4423, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Fredrik Anderson & Simon Burgess & Julia Lane, 2009. "Do as the Neighbors Do: The Impact of Social Networks on Immigrant Employees," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/219, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  11. Åslund, Olof & Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter, 2001. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants - Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2729, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Anna Piil Damm, 2006. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labour Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0607, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  13. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross, 2004. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 495, Econometric Society.
  14. Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Explaining the Black/White Employment Gap: The Role of Weak Ties," CEPR Discussion Papers 8582, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Selod, Harris & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "City Structure, Job Search, and Labor Discrimination. Theory and Policy Implications," Working Paper Series 620, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  16. Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Density, Social Networks and Job Search Methods: Theory and Application to Egypt," Working Paper Series 629, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  17. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," NBER Working Papers 1859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2002. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects and Inequality," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0217, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  19. Gregg, Paul & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 1996. "How Effective Are State Employment Agencies? Jobcentre Use and Job Matching in Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(3), pages 443-67, August.
  20. Sanjeev Goyal, 2007. "Introduction to Connections: An Introduction to the Economics of Networks," Introductory Chapters, in: Connections: An Introduction to the Economics of Networks Princeton University Press.
  21. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "The strength of weak ties in crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-236, February.
  22. Yannis M. Ioannides, 2012. "From Neighborhoods to Nations: The Economics of Social Interactions," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9892, 01-2013.
  23. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-18, December.
  24. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni, 2004. "Job contact networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 191-206, March.
  25. Scott A. Boorman, 1975. "A Combinatorial Optimization Model for Transmission of Job Information through Contact Networks," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(1), pages 216-249, Spring.
  26. Topa, Giorgio, 1997. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Working Papers 97-17, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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