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Do workers really benefit from their social networks?

Listed author(s):
  • Francois Fontaine

    (University of Paris 1 - Eurequa - CNRS)

This paper provides a simple matching model in which unemployed workers and employers in large firms can be matched together through social networks or through more "formal" methods of search. We show that networks do not necessarily add new externalities and that some results previously obtained in the literature are questionable. Nevertheless, social networks can, in some case, substitute for labor market and this crowding-out effect may be socially costly. We show that a policy increasing the number of workers embedded in the social networks can increase the unemployment rate and decrease workers welfare. Since it is mostly the firms which benefit from larger social networks, transfers from the firms to the workers are necessary to make larger access to the social networks efficient.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/mac/papers/0311/0311002.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0311002.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 06 Nov 2003
Date of revision: 07 Jan 2004
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0311002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on Win2000; pages: 30; figures: Yes (included)
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. John T. Addison & Pedro Portugal, 1998. "Job Search Methods and Outcomes," Working Papers w199808, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  2. Adriana Kugler, 2002. "Employee referrals and efficiency wages," Economics Working Papers 647, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Cahuc, Pierre & Fontaine, François, 2002. "On the Efficiency of Job Search with Social Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 3511, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. James Albrecht & Pieter A. Gautier & Susan Vroman, 2006. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 869-891.
  5. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2001. "Job Matching, Social Network and Word-of-Mouth Communication," CEPR Discussion Papers 2797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Javier Suarez & Samuel Bentolila & Claudio Michelacci, 2004. "Social Contacts and Occupational Choice," 2004 Meeting Papers 593, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  8. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "Job reallocation, employment fluctuations and unemployment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1171-1228 Elsevier.
  9. Matt Jackson, 2003. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000032, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Bentolila, S. & Ichino, A., 2000. "Unemployment and Consumption: are Job Losses Less Painful Near the Mediterranean?," Papers 0010, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  11. Holzer, Harry J, 1988. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, January.
  12. Martin Brown & Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr, 2004. "Relational Contracts and the Nature of Market Interactions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(3), pages 747-780, 05.
  13. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
  14. Lars A. Stole & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410.
  15. Marmaros, David & Sacerdote, Bruce, 2002. "Peer and social networks in job search," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 870-879, May.
  16. David Margolis & Véronique Simonnet, 2003. "Educational Track, Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00365833, HAL.
  17. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
  18. Harry J. Holzer, 1987. "Hiring Procedures in the Firm: Their Economic Determinants and Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 2185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
  20. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
  21. Gregg, Paul & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 1996. "How Effective Are State Employment Agencies? Jobcentre Use and Job Matching in Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(3), pages 443-467, August.
  22. 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.
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