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Do Informal Referrals Lead to Better Matches? Evidence from a Firm's Employee Referral System

  • Brown, Meta

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Setren, Elizabeth

    ()

    (MIT)

  • Topa, Giorgio

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

Using a new firm-level dataset that includes explicit information on referrals by current employees, we investigate the hiring process and the relationships among referrals, match quality, wage trajectories and turnover for a single U.S. corporation, and test various predictions of theoretical models of labor market referrals. We find that referred candidates are more likely to be hired; experience an initial wage advantage which dissipates over time; and have longer tenure in the firm. Further, the variances of the referred and non-referred wage distributions converge over time. The observed referral effects appear to be stronger at lower skill levels. The data also permit analysis of the role of referrer-referee pair characteristics.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 8175.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: May 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8175
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  1. 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.
  2. Michele Pellizzari, 2004. "Do Friends and Relatives Really Help in Getting a Good Job?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0623, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Holzer, Harry J, 1987. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 446-52, June.
  4. Laura Giuliano & David I. Levine & Jonathan Leonard, 2009. "Manager Race and the Race of New Hires," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(4), pages 589-631, October.
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  8. Linda Datcher Loury, 2006. "Some Contacts Are More Equal than Others: Informal Networks, Job Tenure, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 299-318, April.
  9. Bayer, Patrick & Ross, Stephen L., 2005. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 8, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  10. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," NBER Working Papers 1859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1984. "Matching, Turnover, and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 108-22, February.
  13. Manishi Prasad & Peter Wahlqvist & Rich Shikiar & Ya-Chen Tina Shih, 2004. "A," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(4), pages 225-244.
  14. Åslund, Olof & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2005. "Will I see you at work? Ethnic workplace segregation in Sweden 1985–2002," Working Paper Series 2005:24, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  15. Simon, Curtis J & Warner, John T, 1992. "Matchmaker, Matchmaker: The Effect of Old Boy Networks on Job Match Quality, Earnings, and Tenure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 306-30, July.
  16. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  17. Topa, Giorgio, 2001. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 261-95, April.
  18. Hellerstein, Judith K. & McInerney, Melissa & Neumark, David, 2008. "Measuring the Importance of Labor Market Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 3750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Frederiksen, Anders & Lange, Fabian & Kriechel, Ben, 2012. "Subjective Performance Evaluations and Employee Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 6373, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Lori Beaman & Jeremy Magruder, 2012. "Who Gets the Job Referral? Evidence from a Social Networks Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3574-93, December.
  21. Manolis Galenianos, 2013. "Learning About Match Quality and the Use of Referrals," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(4), pages 668-690, October.
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