Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1472400
 
 

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Do as the Neighbors Do:
The Impact of Social Networks on Immigrant Employment


Fredrik Andersson


Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

Simon M. Burgess


University of Bristol - Department of Economics; University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Julia Lane


American Institutes for Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

September 12, 2009


Abstract:     
Substantial immigrant segregation in the United States, combined with the increase in the share of the U.S. foreign-born population, have led to great interest in the causes and consequences of immigrant concentration, including those related to the functioning of labor markets. This paper provides robust evidence that both the size and the quality of an immigrant enclave affects the labor market outcomes of new immigrants. We develop new measures of the quality, or information value, of immigrant networks by exploiting data based on worker earnings records matched to firm and Census information. We demonstrate the importance of immigrant employment links: network members are much more likely than other immigrants to be employed in the same firm as their geographic neighbors. Immigrants living with large numbers of employed neighbors are more likely to have jobs than immigrants in areas with fewer employed neighbors. The effects are quantitatively important and robust under alternative specifications. For example, in a high value network - one with an average employment rate in the 90th percentile - a one standard deviation increase in the log of the number of contacts in the network is associated with almost a 5% increase in the employment rate. Earnings, conditional on employment, increase by about 0.7%.

Keywords: Social networks, immigrant enclaves, labor market intermediaries

JEL Classification: J61, J20

working papers series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: September 13, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Andersson, Fredrik and Burgess, Simon M. and Lane, Julia, Do as the Neighbors Do: The Impact of Social Networks on Immigrant Employment (September 12, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1472400

Contact Information

Per Fredrik Daniel Andersson
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) ( email )
400 7th St. SW
Washington, DC 20219-0001
United States
202-649-5528 (Phone)
571-465-3246 (Fax)
Simon Burgess
University of Bristol - Department of Economics ( email )
8 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 ITN
United Kingdom
+44 117 928 8436 (Phone)
+44 117 928 8577 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Economics/department/profiles/burgess.htm
University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)
12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Julia Lane (Contact Author)
American Institutes for Research ( email )
1990 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006-1107
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org
Feedback to SSRN


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