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Global Connections And The Structure Of Skills In Local Co-Worker Networks


  • László Lõrincz

    () (Centre for Economic- and Regional Studies, Institute of Economics, Budapest;Networks, Technology and Innovation Lab, Corvinus University of Budapest)

  • Guilherme Kenji Chihaya

    (Department of Geography, Umea University)

  • Anikó Hannák

    (Department of Information Science, University of Zurich)

  • Dávid Takács

    (Department of Geography, Umea University)

  • Balázs Lengyel

    () (Centre for Economic- and Regional Studies, Institute of Economics, Budapest; Networks, Technology and Innovation Lab, Corvinus University of Budapest;Agglomeration and Social Networks Lendület Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences;)

  • Rikard Eriksson

    (Department of Geography, Umea University; Center for Regional Science, Umea University)


Social connections that reach distant places are advantageous for individuals and firms by providing access to new skills and knowledge. However, systematic evidence on how firms work up global knowledge access is still missing. In this paper, we analyse how global work connections relate to differences in the skill composition of employees within companies. We gather survey data from 10% of workers in a local industry in Sweden and complement this with digital trace data to map co-worker networks and skill composition. This unique combination of data and features allows us to quantify global connections of employees and measure the degree of skill-similarity and skill-relatedness to co-workers. We find that the workers with extensive local networks typically have related skills to others in the region and to their co-workers. Workers with more global ties typically bring in less related skills to the region. These results provide new insights to the composition of skills within knowledge intensive firms by connecting the geography of networks contacts to the diversity of skills accessible through them.

Suggested Citation

  • László Lõrincz & Guilherme Kenji Chihaya & Anikó Hannák & Dávid Takács & Balázs Lengyel & Rikard Eriksson, 2020. "Global Connections And The Structure Of Skills In Local Co-Worker Networks," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 2034, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:2034

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    Co-worker networks; skills; relatedness; global connections; survey; online social network;

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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