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Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants

  • Deepti Goel
  • Kevin Lang

We show that increasing the probability of obtaining a job offer through a network should raise the observed wages of workers in jobs found through formal channels relative to those in jobs found through the network. This prediction holds at all percentiles except the highest and lowest. The largest changes are likely to occur below the median of the offer distribution. We test and confirm these implications using a survey of recent immigrants into Canada. We develop a simple structural model consistent with the theoretical model and show that it can replicate the broad patterns in the data. Our results are consistent with the primary effect of network strength being to increase the arrival rate of offers rather than to alter the distribution from which offers are drawn at least among recent immigrants.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15186.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15186.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15186
Note: LS
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  1. Borjas, George J, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-50, February.
  2. Michele Pellizzari, 2010. "Do Friends and Relatives Really Help in Getting a Good Job?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(3), pages 494-510, April.
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  4. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-90, June.
  6. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross, 2004. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 495, Econometric Society.
  7. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Culture and Language," NBER Working Papers 5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Åslund, Olof, 2000. "Ethnic enclaves and the economic success of immigrants - evidence from a natural experiment," Working Paper Series 2000:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  9. 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.
  10. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Uta Schoenberg, 2011. "Referral-based Job Search Networks," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2011012, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  11. Hou, Feng & Picot, Garnett, 2003. "Visible Minority Neighbourhood Enclaves and Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003204e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  12. Javier Suarez & Samuel Bentolila & Claudio Michelacci, 2004. "Social Contacts and Occupational Choice," 2004 Meeting Papers 593, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lori A. Beaman, 2012. "Social Networks and the Dynamics of Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Refugees Resettled in the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 128-161.
  15. Picot, Garnett & Sweetman, Arthur, 2005. "The Deteriorating Economic Welfare of Immigrants and Possible Causes: Update 2005," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005262e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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