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Social Networks, Job Search Methods and Reservation Wages: Evidence for Germany

  • Caliendo, Marco

    ()

    (University of Potsdam)

  • Schmidl, Ricarda

    ()

    (University of Mannheim)

  • Uhlendorff, Arne

    ()

    (CREST)

In this paper we analyze the relationship between social networks and the job search behavior of unemployed individuals. It is believed that networks convey useful information in the job search process such that individuals with larger networks should experience a higher productivity of informal search. Hence, job search theory suggests that individuals with larger networks use informal search channels more often and substitute from formal to informal search. Due to the increase in search productivity, it is also likely that individuals set higher reservation wages. We analyze these relations using a novel data set of unemployed individuals in Germany containing extensive information on job search behavior and direct measures for the social network of individuals. Our findings confirm theoretical expectations. Individuals with larger networks use informal search channels more often and shift from formal to informal search. We find that informal search is mainly considered a substitute for passive, less cost intensive search channels. In addition to that, we find evidence for a positive relationship between the network size and reservation wages.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5165.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Journal of Manpower, 2011, 32 (7), 796 - 824
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5165
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  1. Bramoullé, Yann & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2004. "Social Networks and Labor Market Transitions," IDEI Working Papers 300, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Giorgio Topa & Stephen Ross & Patrick Bayer, 2005. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 05-23, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  4. Mortensen, D. T. & Vishwanath, T., 1995. "Personal contacts and earnings: It is who you know!," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 103-104, March.
  5. 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.
  6. van den Berg, Gerard J & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2001. "Counselling and Monitoring of Unemployed Workers: Theory and Evidence from a Controlled Social Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Andrea Weber & Helmut Mahringer, 2008. "Choice and success of job search methods," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 153-178, August.
  8. Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Density, social networks and job search methods: Theory and application to Egypt," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 443-473, December.
  9. Caliendo, Marco & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Uhlendorff, Arne, 2010. "Locus of Control and Job Search Strategies," IZA Discussion Papers 4750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," NBER Working Papers 1859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Andrea Galeotti & Luca Paolo Merlino, 2014. "Endogenous Job Contact Networks," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 1201-1226, November.
  12. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni & Jackson, Matthew O., 2007. "Networks in labor markets: Wage and employment dynamics and inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 27-46, January.
  13. Michele Pellizzari, 2010. "Do Friends and Relatives Really Help in Getting a Good Job?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(3), pages 494-510, April.
  14. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
  15. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Tatsiramos, Konstantinos, 2011. "Friends’ networks and job finding rates," ISER Working Paper Series 2011-21, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  16. 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.
  17. repec:dgr:vuarem:1997-36 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Koning, Pierre & Berg, Gerard J. van den & Ridder, Geert, 1997. "A structural analysis of job search methods and subsequent wages," Serie Research Memoranda 0036, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  19. Lawrence M. Kahn & Stuart A. Low, 1988. "Systematic and Random Search A Synthesis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-20.
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