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Job Search Among Informal Contacts


  • Linda Loury


Understanding the role of informal contacts in job search can be important given that roughly half of workers find employment through such sources. Some previous research finds that informal contacts improve labor market outcomes. Other work shows that individuals who found their jobs through friends and relatives had lower wages and less job satisfaction than those who used other methods. In light of the varying effects, the purpose of this paper is to uncover why individuals differ in the types of contacts used to find the jobs that they hold.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda Loury, 2006. "Job Search Among Informal Contacts," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0604, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0604

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holzer, Harry J, 1987. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 446-452, June.
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    6. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1990. "Job Search Outcomes for the Employed and Unemployed," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 637-655, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350.
    9. Antoninis, Manos, 2006. "The wage effects from the use of personal contacts as hiring channels," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 133-146, January.
    10. Giorgio Topa, 2001. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 261-295.
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    12. Clark, William, 1988. "Production Costs and Output Qualities in Public and Private Employment Agencies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 379-393, October.
    13. 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.
    14. Blackburn, McKinley L., 2004. "The role of test scores in explaining race and gender differences in wages," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 555-576, December.
    15. Saloner, Garth, 1985. "Old Boy Networks as Screening Mechanisms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 255-267, July.
    16. 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 306-330, July.
    17. Jonathan M. Thomas, 1997. "Public Employment Agencies and Unemployment Spells: Reconciling the Experimental and Nonexperimental Evidence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(4), pages 667-683, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2006. "Value-Added Tax," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0608, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    2. Pierre Cahuc & François Fontaine, 2009. "On the Efficiency of Job Search with Social Networks," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(3), pages 411-439, June.
    3. Zwysen, Wouter & Longhi, Simonetta, 2016. "Labour market disadvantage of ethnic minority British graduates: university choice, parental background or neighbourhood?," ISER Working Paper Series 2016-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. Michele Mosca & Francesco Pastore, 2009. "Wage Effects of Recruitment Methods: The Case of the Italian Social Service Sector," AIEL Series in Labour Economics,in: Marco Musella & Sergio Destefanis (ed.), Paid and Unpaid Labour in the Social Economy. An International Perspective, edition 1, chapter 8, pages 115-141 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.

    More about this item


    Job search; Informal contacts;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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