Career Choice and the Strength of Weak Ties
This paper argues that the structure (i.e., size and composition) of the informal search network is a crucial determinant of the career decisions of young workers. Building on the search-theoretic career choice and job mobility model proposed by Neal (1999), I compare the consequences of career advice by one's weak ties versus that by strong ties. The main result is that receiving help from weak ties is associated with early career and job settlements, while the strong ties are more likely to lead to amplified mobility and generate mismatch. Given a network size, I find a strongly positive correlation between the fraction of weak ties among one's informal connections and the likelihood of settling on a stable career path early in the life course. I also find that the sign of this correlation persists, while the magnitude gets smaller as the network size increases. I conclude that the strength-of-weak-ties hypothesis can shed light on the complexity of job mobility patterns among young workers. The model can explain why it takes much longer for blacks – whose informal networks are documented to consist of strong ties – to locate a stable career path than their white counterparts. It also predicts that young workers from closed and segregated neighborhoods tend to spend more time before they find suitable careers.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2016|
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References listed on IDEAS
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- William R. Johnson, 1978. "A Theory of Job Shopping," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(2), pages 261-277.
- Deepti Goel & Kevin Lang, 2009.
"Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants,"
NBER Working Papers
15186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Goel, Deepti & Lang, Kevin, 2009. "The Role of Social Ties in the Job Search of Recent Immigrants," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Feb 2009.
- Deepti Goel & Kevin Lang, 2010. "Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 148, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
- Deepti Goel & Kevin Lang, 2010. "Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants," Working papers 189, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
- Deepti Goel & Kevin Lang, 2010. "Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1022, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
- Deepti Goel & Kevin Lang, 2010. "Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants," Working Papers id:2932, eSocialSciences.
- Goel, Deepti & Lang, Kevin, 2016. "Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 9942, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x, September.
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