Informal Contacts in Hiring: The Economics Job Market

38 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2018 Last revised: 15 Oct 2018

See all articles by Michael E. Rose

Michael E. Rose

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Suraj Shekhar

Ashoka University

Date Written: June 29, 2018


We demonstrate the importance of ‘social connections’ in the labor market using a novel dataset where we study the placement outcomes of doctoral students in Economics. We show that a PhD adviser’s connectedness in the co-author network matters for her student’s academic placement. An adviser’s connectedness is measured by her Eigenvector centrality rank in the co-author network defined by more than 100,000 coauthored research articles. Students of more connected advisers obtain a better initial placement compared to students of less connected advisers. We identify the impact of adviser connectedness via changes in the centrality of the adviser’s co-authors in a model with adviser-fixed effects. Additionally, we use the deaths of faculty members as an exogenous shock to show that the probability of a student being placed at a particular department reduces when the collaboration intensity between the student’s school and that department decreases due to the death. Our results contain a more general insight into any labor market with information frictions - even indirect connections can significantly affect job market outcomes.

Keywords: Placement, academic labor market, social network, referrals

JEL Classification: A11, D83, J44, J64

Suggested Citation

Rose, Michael and Shekhar, Suraj, Informal Contacts in Hiring: The Economics Job Market (June 29, 2018). Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 18-12, Available at SSRN:

Michael Rose (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539

HOME PAGE: http://

Suraj Shekhar

Ashoka University ( email )

Ashoka University
Rajiv Gandhi Education City
Sonipat, 131029


Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics