Social networks and the dynamics of labour market outcomes: Evidence from refugees resettled in the U.S.

Lori A. Beaman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines the dynamic implications of social networks for the labour market outcomes of refugees resettled in the U.S. A theoretical model of job information transmission shows that the relationship between social network size and labour market outcomes is heterogeneous and depends on the vintage of network members: an increase in network size can negatively impact some cohorts in a network while benefiting others. To test this prediction, I use new data on political refugees resettled in the U.S. and exploit the fact that these refugees are distributed across cities by a resettlement agency, precluding individuals from sorting. The results indicate that an increase in the number of social network members resettled in the same year or one year prior to a new arrival leads to a deterioration of outcomes, while a greater number of tenured network members improves the probability of employment and raises the hourly wage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-161
Number of pages34
JournalReview of Economic Studies
Volume79
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 16 2012

Keywords

  • Dynamics
  • Labour market outcomes
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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