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Do workers really benefit from their social networks?

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This paper provides a simple matching model in which unemployed workers and employers in large firms can be matched together through social networks or through more «formal» methods of search. We show that networks do not necessarily add new externalities and that some results previously obtained in the literature are questionable. Nevertheless, social networks can, in some case, substitute for labour market and this crowding-out effect may be socially costly. We show that an increase in the number of workers embedded in the social networks can increase the unemployment rate and decrease workers welfare. Since it is mostly the firms which benefit from larger social networks, transfers from the firms to the workers are necessary to make larger access to the social network efficient.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/cahiers2004/V04085.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1) in its series Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques with number v04085.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Handle: RePEc:mse:wpsorb:v04085
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  2. Bentolila, Samuel & Ichino, Andrea, 2000. "Unemployment and Consumption: Are Job Losses Less Painful near the Mediterranean?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2539, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Pierre Cahuc & François Fontaine, 2009. "On the Efficiency of Job Search with Social Networks," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(3), pages 411-439, 06.
  6. Marmaros, David & Sacerdote, Bruce, 2002. "Peer and social networks in job search," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 870-879, May.
  7. 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.
  8. James Albrecht & Pieter A. Gautier & Susan Vroman, 2006. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 869-891.
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  10. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  14. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "Job reallocation, employment fluctuations and unemployment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1171-1228 Elsevier.
  15. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 426-454, June.
  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 443-467, August.
  17. Samuel Bentolila & Claudio Michelacci & Javier Suarez, 2010. "Social Contacts and Occupational Choice," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(305), pages 20-45, 01.
  18. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
  19. Lars A. Stole & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410.
  20. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
  21. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
  22. 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 306-330, July.
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