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Coworker Networks and the Role of Occupations in Job Finding

Maria Zhu
Publication Year 
JEL Code 
D85 - Network Formation
J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J64 - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
Which former coworkers help displaced workers find jobs? We answer this question by studying occupational similarity in job finding networks. Using matched employer-employee data from Hungary, this paper relates the unemployment duration of displaced workers to the employment rate of their former coworker networks. We find that while coworkers from all occupations are helpful in job finding, there is significant heterogeneity in effects by occupation skill-level. For workers in low-skill jobs, coworkers in the same narrow occupation as the displaced worker are the most useful network contacts. For workers in high-skill jobs, coworkers from different occupations help the most.
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