Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 628: Job Contact Networks and the Ethnic Minorities

Harminder Battu , Paul Seaman and Yves Zenou ()
Additional contact information
Harminder Battu: University of Aberdeen, Postal: Department of Economics and Centre for European Labour Market Research (CELMR), Edward Wright Building, Dunbar Street, Old Aberdeen AB24 3QY, United Kingdom
Paul Seaman: University of Dundee, Postal: Department of Economic Studies, Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN, United Kingdom
Yves Zenou: The Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper examines the job finding methods of different ethnic groups in the UK. The theoretical framework shows that less assimilated ethnic unemployed workers are more likely to use their friends and family as their main method of search but they have less chance of finding a job using this method compared to whites and more assimilated ethnic unemployed workers that use formal job search methods (adverts, employment agencies etc.). Using data from the UK Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), we test these hypotheses. Our empirical findings are consistent with the theory since they suggest that, though networks are a popular method of finding a job for the ethnic minorities, they are not necessarily the most effective either in terms of gaining employment or in terms of the level of job achieved. However, there are important differences across ethnic groups with the Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups and those born outside the UK (the least assimilated), losing out disproportionately from using personal networks.

Keywords: Job Search; Networks; Social Capital; Ethnic Disadvantage

JEL-codes: J15; J64

34 pages, September 14, 2004

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