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Density, Social Networks and Job Search Methods: Theory and Application to Egypt

  • Wahba, Jackline

    (University of Southampton)

  • Zenou, Yves

    ()

    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

The aim of this paper is to study the impact of the size and the quality of social networks on the probability to find a job. We first develop a theoretical model in which individuals are embedded within a network of social relationships. Workers can obtain information about jobs via employed friends belonging to his/her social network. Workers can be either uneducated or educated. We show that, conditional on being employed, the probability to find a job through social networks, relative to other search methods, increases and is concave with the size of the network. The effects are stronger for the uneducated. There is however a critical size of the network above which this probability decreases. We also show that the probability to find a job through friends and relatives decreases with the local unemployment rate. We test empirically these theoretical findings for Egypt using the 1998 Labor Market Survey. The empirical evidence supports the predictions of our theoretical model.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 629.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 19 Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0629
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  1. Harry J. Holzer, 1987. "Job search by employed and unemployed youth," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(4), pages 601-611, July.
  2. Mazumdar, Dipak, 1987. "Rural-urban migration in developing countries," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 28, pages 1097-1128 Elsevier.
  3. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2001. "Job Matching, Social Network and Word-of-Mouth Communication," Seminar Papers 695, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. McCormick, Barry & Wahba, Jackline, 2003. "Did public wage premiums fuel agglomeration in LDCs?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 349-379, April.
  5. 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.
  6. Cattell, Vicky, 2001. "Poor people, poor places, and poor health: the mediating role of social networks and social capital," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(10), pages 1501-1516, May.
  7. Fafchamps, Marcel & Lund, Susan, 2003. "Risk-sharing networks in rural Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 261-287, August.
  8. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Looking Into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," CEP Discussion Papers dp0470, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Assaad, Ragui, 1993. "Formal and informal institutions in the labor market, with applications to the construction sector in Egypt," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 925-939, June.
  10. Mortensen, Dale T. & Vishwanath, Tara, 1994. "Personal contacts and earnings : It is who you know!," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 187-201, March.
  11. 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.
  12. Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro, 1998. "Job Search Methods and Outcomes," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-41, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  13. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1990. "Job Search Outcomes for the Employed and Unemployed," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 637-55, June.
  14. Holzer, Harry J, 1988. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, January.
  15. Topa, Giorgio, 1997. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Working Papers 97-17, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  16. 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.
  17. Assaad, Ragui, 1997. "Kinship ties, social networks, and segmented labor markets: evidence from the construction sector in Egypt," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-30, February.
  18. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  19. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni, 2004. "Job contact networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 191-206, March.
  20. Pissarides, C A, 1979. "Job Matchings with State Employment Agencies and Random Search," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(356), pages 818-33, December.
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