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Job Tenure and Personal Contacts: Good Matches or Limited Choices?

  • Linda Datcher Loury

This paper contends that there is an alternative explanation of the positive relationship between using informal contacts and job tenure for some young men. Lower wages, wage growth, and expected job tenure may characterize those using contacts with little clout in the market. In such cases, the correlation between informal contacts and job tenure should not be interpreted as evidence of better match quality. Workers with poor quality personal contacts may rely on informal information sources only as a last resort when they are unable to find lucrative jobs through other means. Such workers would remain at their current jobs mainly because they have limited alternative choices rather than because of better match quality.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0417.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0417
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  1. Kristen Keith & Abagail McWilliams, 1995. "The Wage Effects of Cumulative Job Mobility," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(1), pages 121-137, October.
  2. Mortensen, D. T. & Vishwanath, T., 1995. "Personal contacts and earnings: It is who you know!," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 103-104, March.
  3. Bronars, Stephen G & Famulari, Melissa, 1997. "Wage, Tenure, and Wage Growth Variation within and across Establishment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 285-317, April.
  4. Galizzi, Monica & Lang, Kevin, 1998. "Relative Wages, Wage Growth, and Quit Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 367-91, April.
  5. Marmaros, David & Sacerdote, Bruce, 2002. "Peer and social networks in job search," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 870-879, May.
  6. Farber, Henry S, 1994. "The Analysis of Interfirm Worker Mobility," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 554-93, October.
  7. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1988. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 2649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Viscusi, W Kip, 1980. "A Theory of Job Shopping: A Bayesian Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 609-14, May.
  9. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1056-1093, December.
  10. Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Some Job Contacts are More Equal Than Others: Earnings and Job Information Networks," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0404, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  11. 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 306-30, July.
  12. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  13. Johnson, William R, 1978. "A Theory of Job Shopping," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 261-78, May.
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