What role do social networks play in determining migrant labor market outcomes? We examine this question using data from a random sample of 1500 immigrants living in Ireland. We propose a theoretical model formally predicting that immigrants with more contacts have additional access to job offers, and are therefore better able to become employed and choose higher paid jobs. Our empirical analysis confirms these findings, while focusing more generally on the relationship between migrants’ social networks and a variety of labor market outcomes (namely wages, employment, occupational choice and job security), contrary to the literature. We find evidence that having one more contact in the network is associated with an increase of 11pp in the probability of being employed and with an increase of about 100 euros in the average salary. However, our data is not suggestive of a network size effect on occupational choice and job security. Our findings are robust to sample selection and other endogeneity concerns.
|Number of pages||29|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2016|
|Name||Nova Africa Working Paper Series|