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Invandrares nätverk och sociala kapital

Frosch, Michael (2006)
Department of Economics
Abstract
Abstract The increased focus on social capital theory has made its way into labour economics. This has led to the creation of a vast literature about the use of networks and informal search methods in the labour-market, a literature that to some extent also deals with immigrants search behaviour and their relatively high unemployment rate. Characteristic for the literature in the area is the lack of analysis of actual networks. Which types of contacts do these networks contain; how are the networks used in the labour-market; and which type of network generates a high amount of social capital. These questions are important for the general understanding of how social capital functions, within the labour-market, but also for the understanding... (More)
Abstract The increased focus on social capital theory has made its way into labour economics. This has led to the creation of a vast literature about the use of networks and informal search methods in the labour-market, a literature that to some extent also deals with immigrants search behaviour and their relatively high unemployment rate. Characteristic for the literature in the area is the lack of analysis of actual networks. Which types of contacts do these networks contain; how are the networks used in the labour-market; and which type of network generates a high amount of social capital. These questions are important for the general understanding of how social capital functions, within the labour-market, but also for the understanding of how immigrants use their networks in order to find themselves jobs. The aim of this essay is to investigate which network factors are crucial in order for a person with an immigrant background, to be able to successfully use his social capital within the labour market. The essay starts out with the creation of a theoretical framework. This framework is built upon different theories about social capital, with a focus on how it is used within the labour-market. The theories, which derive from Coleman, Putnam, Granovetter, Lin and Burt, all contribute with different aspects of how a network should be shaped in order to best generate social capital. The most salient points are then summarized in one assumption and five different hypotheses. The hypotheses predict how different network factors affect the possibility to successfully use social capital, in order to find a job. The network factors, network diversity, network density, network quality, position in the network and organizational membership are then tested on the empirical material by a LPM regression and chi-tests. The empirical material consisits of data from “The Immigrant Labour Market, Language Skill and SocialNetwork project” (IASS). IASS is a quantitative survey produced by Dan-Olof Rooth. The survey is based on 559 interviews with males from Chile, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Romania and Iran. The respondents were granted residence permits in Sweden between the years 1987 to 1989. The survey investigates immigrants’ social capital, human capital, cultural capital and their general situation within the Swedish labour market. A LPM regression is then carried out on those respondents that have used informal or formal search methods in order to get their latest job, while the chi-tests are a comparison between the two groups and a third group made up of respondents that are unemployed. The results from the regression and the chi-test contradict each other to a certain extent, and also differ somewhat from the theoretical predictions. The results from the regression indicate that homogenic networks and strong connections between individuals in the network are an advantage in searching for a job a result that to some extent contradicts the general theory in the area. The comparison between the three different groups on the other hand, shows that those respondents that were gainfully employed have more heterogenic networks with lower density, a finding that is more in line with the theory. Both analyses support the importance of position in the network, which indicates that it is an advantage to constitute a so called network entrepreneur. The analysis also shows a difference depending on origin.
A possible explanation for these findings could be that information regarding a job travels shorter distances in the examined immigrants’ networks. This situation seems to give an advantage to networks that look slightly different frpom what the theory predicts. One reason for this could be that it is certain types of job that are transmitted through the immigrants’ networks in combination with a relatively high unemployment among the respondents. (Less)
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@misc{1334857,
  abstract     = {Abstract The increased focus on social capital theory has made its way into labour economics. This has led to the creation of a vast literature about the use of networks and informal search methods in the labour-market, a literature that to some extent also deals with immigrants search behaviour and their relatively high unemployment rate. Characteristic for the literature in the area is the lack of analysis of actual networks. Which types of contacts do these networks contain; how are the networks used in the labour-market; and which type of network generates a high amount of social capital. These questions are important for the general understanding of how social capital functions, within the labour-market, but also for the understanding of how immigrants use their networks in order to find themselves jobs. The aim of this essay is to investigate which network factors are crucial in order for a person with an immigrant background, to be able to successfully use his social capital within the labour market. The essay starts out with the creation of a theoretical framework. This framework is built upon different theories about social capital, with a focus on how it is used within the labour-market. The theories, which derive from Coleman, Putnam, Granovetter, Lin and Burt, all contribute with different aspects of how a network should be shaped in order to best generate social capital. The most salient points are then summarized in one assumption and five different hypotheses. The hypotheses predict how different network factors affect the possibility to successfully use social capital, in order to find a job. The network factors, network diversity, network density, network quality, position in the network and organizational membership are then tested on the empirical material by a LPM regression and chi-tests. The empirical material consisits of data from “The Immigrant Labour Market, Language Skill and SocialNetwork project” (IASS). IASS is a quantitative survey produced by Dan-Olof Rooth. The survey is based on 559 interviews with males from Chile, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Romania and Iran. The respondents were granted residence permits in Sweden between the years 1987 to 1989. The survey investigates immigrants’ social capital, human capital, cultural capital and their general situation within the Swedish labour market. A LPM regression is then carried out on those respondents that have used informal or formal search methods in order to get their latest job, while the chi-tests are a comparison between the two groups and a third group made up of respondents that are unemployed. The results from the regression and the chi-test contradict each other to a certain extent, and also differ somewhat from the theoretical predictions. The results from the regression indicate that homogenic networks and strong connections between individuals in the network are an advantage in searching for a job a result that to some extent contradicts the general theory in the area. The comparison between the three different groups on the other hand, shows that those respondents that were gainfully employed have more heterogenic networks with lower density, a finding that is more in line with the theory. Both analyses support the importance of position in the network, which indicates that it is an advantage to constitute a so called network entrepreneur. The analysis also shows a difference depending on origin.
A possible explanation for these findings could be that information regarding a job travels shorter distances in the examined immigrants’ networks. This situation seems to give an advantage to networks that look slightly different frpom what the theory predicts. One reason for this could be that it is certain types of job that are transmitted through the immigrants’ networks in combination with a relatively high unemployment among the respondents.},
  author       = {Frosch, Michael},
  keyword      = {social capital,Networks,Immigrants,Labour-market,Informal search methods,Economics, econometrics, economic theory, economic systems, economic policy,Nationalekonomi, ekonometri, ekonomisk teori, ekonomiska system, ekonomisk politik},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Invandrares nätverk och sociala kapital},
  year         = {2006},
}