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Transitions in a West African Labour Market: The Role of Social Networks

  • Pasquier-Doumer, Laure
  • Nordman, Christophe Jalil

This paper sheds light on the role of social networks in the dynamics of a West African labour market, i.e. in the transitions from unemployment to employment, from wage employment to self-employment, and from self-employment to wage employment. It investigates the effects of three dimensions of the social network on these transitions: its structure, the strength of ties and the resources embedded in the network. For this purpose, we use a first-hand survey conducted in Ouagadougou on a representative sample of 2000 households. Using event history data and very detailed information on social networks, we estimate proportional hazard models for discrete-time data. We find that social networks have a significant effect on the dynamics of workers in the labour market and that this effect differs depending on the type of transition and the considered dimension of the social network. The network size appears to not matter much in the labour market dynamics. Strong ties however play a stabilizing role by limiting large transitions. Their negative effect on transitions is reinforced when they are combined with high level of resources embedded in the network.

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Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/12204.

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Date of creation: 29 Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in DIAL Document de travail, 2013
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/12204
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  1. Samuel Bentolila & Claudio Michelacci & Javier Suarez, 2004. "Social Contacts And Occupational Choice," Working Papers wp2004_06, CEMFI.
  2. Marcel Fafchamps, 2002. "Returns to social network capital among traders," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 173-206, April.
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  5. 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.
  6. Philippe Bocquier & Christophe Nordman & Aude Vescovo, 2010. "Employment Vulnerability and Earnings in Urban West Africa," Working Papers DT/2010/05, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
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  8. Laure Pasquier-Doumer, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity on the urban labour market in West Africa," Working Papers DT/2010/09, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
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  10. Christophe J. Nordman & François Roubaud, 2009. "Reassessing the Gender Wage Gap in Madagascar: Does Labor Force Attachment Really Matter?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 785-808, 07.
  11. Grimm, Michael & Gubert, Flore & Koriko, Ousman & Lay, Jann & Nordman, Christophe Jalil, 2013. "Kinship ties and entrepreneurship in Western Africa," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13755, Paris Dauphine University.
  12. Bramoullé, Yann & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2010. "Social networks and labor market transitions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 188-195, January.
  13. Horton, Susan, 1988. "Birth Order and Child Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 341-54, January.
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  16. Jean-Philippe Berrou & Fran�ois Combarnous, 2012. "The Personal Networks of Entrepreneurs in an Informal African Urban Economy: Does the ‘Strength of Ties’ Matter?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 70(1), pages 1-30, July.
  17. Abigail M. Barr, 2002. "The Functional Diversity and Spillover Effects of Social Capital," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(1), pages 90-113, March.
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