Market Transition and Network-Based Job Matching in China: The Referrer Perspective

Industrial Labor Relations Review. First published July 28, 2020.

48 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2019 Last revised: 24 Jun 2021

See all articles by Elena Obukhova

Elena Obukhova

Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University

Brian Rubineau

Cornell University

Date Written: July 28, 2020

Abstract

Current research on network-based job matching in transition economies makes conflicting predictions: some scholarship suggests that as formal market intermediaries develop, network matching declines, while another – that it increases because employers’ use of network hiring becomes more common. To reconcile these contradictory predictions, we change perspectives relative to most labor market network scholarship and examine referrer behavior. Referrers are those who share information about job opportunities with potential job candidates. We propose that the market transition increases demand-side network matching, or network matching where referrers act on behalf of their employer, but decreases supply-side network matching, or matching where referrers act on behalf of their job-seeking contacts. Using a large-scale population survey, we show that in China, referring increases when employers seek or encourage network hiring. Net of these employer effects, greater provincial market development is associated with lower referring.

Keywords: social networks, labor markets, job search, recruitment, referrals, market transition, China

Suggested Citation

Obukhova, Elena and Rubineau, Brian, Market Transition and Network-Based Job Matching in China: The Referrer Perspective (July 28, 2020). Industrial Labor Relations Review. First published July 28, 2020. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3357012 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3357012

Elena Obukhova (Contact Author)

Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, Quebec H3A1G5 H3A 2M1
Canada
5143985919 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.mcgill.ca/desautels/elena-obukhova

Brian Rubineau

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-3048 (Phone)

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