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Network Search: Climbing the Job Ladder Faster

Author

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  • Marcelo Arbex
  • Dennis O'Dea
  • David Wiczer

Abstract

We introduce an irregular network structure into a model of frictional, on-the-job search in which workers find jobs through their network connections or directly from firms. We show that jobs found through network search have wages that stochastically dominate those found through direct contact. In irregular networks, heterogeneity in the worker’s position within the network leads to heterogeneity in wage and employment dynamics: better-connected workers climb the job ladder faster. Despite this rich heterogeneity from the network structure, the mean-field approach allows the problem of our workers to be formulated tractably and recursively. We then calibrate a quantitative version of our mechanism, showing it is consistent with several empirical findings regarding networks and labor markets: jobs found through networks have higher wages and last longer. Finally, we present new evidence consistent with our model that job-to-job switches at higher rungs of the ladder are more likely to use networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcelo Arbex & Dennis O'Dea & David Wiczer, 2018. "Network Search: Climbing the Job Ladder Faster," Department of Economics Working Papers 18-04, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nys:sunysb:18-04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2000. "Equilibrium Search with Continuous Productivity Dispersion: Theory and Nonparametric Estimation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 305-358, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giorgio Topa & Aysegul Sahin & Andreas Mueller & Jason Faberman, 2014. "Job Search Behavior among the Employed and Unemployed," 2014 Meeting Papers 975, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Neugart, Michael & Zaharieva, Anna, 2018. "Social Networks, Promotions, and the Glass-Ceiling Effect," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 601, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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