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A Dynamic Model of Job Networks and Persistent Inequality

This paper investigates the properties of a local economy in which personal connections are important in finding jobs. The complementarities in the model generate an interesting nonlinear relationship between the distribution of human capital in the economy, the characteristics of the social network, and equilibrium labor market dynamics. The model is shown to be consistent with a number of stylized facts about the increased neighborhood concentration of poverty since 1970. I argue that this type of model is more consistent with the empirical facts about neighborhood poverty than previous models which focus on human capital accumulation.

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Paper provided by Santa Fe Institute in its series Research in Economics with number 98-06-049e.

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Date of creation: Jun 1998
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Handle: RePEc:wop:safire:98-06-049e
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Web page: http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/working-papers.html

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  1. Holzer, Harry J, 1987. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 446-52, June.
  2. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Streufert, Peter, 2000. " The Effect of Underclass Social Isolation on Schooling Choice," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(4), pages 461-82.
  4. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993. "Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-40, December.
  5. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Durlauf, Steven N, 1996. " A Theory of Persistent Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 75-93, March.
  7. Mary Corcoran & Roger H. Gordon & Deborah Laren & Gary Solon, 1989. "Effects of Family and Community Background on Men's Economic Status," NBER Working Papers 2896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Datcher, Linda, 1983. "The Impact of Informal Networks of Quit Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 491-95, August.
  9. Lundberg, Shelly J & Startz, Richard, 1983. "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 340-47, June.
  10. 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.
  11. Bartlett, Robin L & Miller, Timothy I, 1985. "Executive Compensation: Female Executives and Networking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 266-70, May.
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