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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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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15186
Note: LS
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  1. Uta Schoenberg & Albrecht Glitz & Christian Dustmann, 2011. "Referral-based Job Search Networks," 2011 Meeting Papers 350, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  10. 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.
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  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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  18. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," NBER Working Papers 3788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. Krishna Patel & Francis Vella, 2013. "Immigrant Networks and Their Implications for Occupational Choice and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1249-1277, October.
  21. 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).
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