Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2013:23: Networks and youth labor market entry

Lena Hensvik () and Oskar Nordström Skans ()
Additional contact information
Lena Hensvik: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Oskar Nordström Skans: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: The paper provides an overview of existing knowledge regarding the role played by social networks in the process where young workers are matched to employing firms. We discuss standard theories of why social networks may be an important element in the job-matching process and survey the empirical literature on labor market networks with an emphasis on studies pertaining to the role of social contacts during the school-to-work transition phase. In addition, we present some novel evidence on how contacts established while working during the final year in high school affect youth labor market entry. Finally, we discuss how insights from this literature can be used to improve the quality of social programs targeted towards young workers in the Nordic countries.

Keywords: Referrals; school-to-work transition; youth unemployment

JEL-codes: J24; J64; M51; Z13

36 pages, October 14, 2013

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