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Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment

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  • Harry J. Holzer

Abstract

In this paper I analyze how young black and white unemployed jobseekers use various methods of search, and the employment outcomes which result from their use.The focus is on distinguishing informal search methods (i.e.,friends and relatives or direct application without referral) from more formal ones in analyzing racial differences.The results show that the two informal methods of search account for about 90% of the difference in employment probabilities between white and black youth. This also accounts for 57-71% of the difference in unemployment rates between the two. Furthermore, most of these results reflect differences in the ability of these methods to generate job offers, as opposed to differences in search effort or job acceptance rates. However, our ability to explain these differences through personal, family, and household characteristics was generally quite limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1860
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