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The role of social networks in employment processes in urban China

Authors Huang, Xianbi
Issue Date 2006
Summary The central theme of this dissertation is that social networks play an important role in employment processes in reform-era urban China. Three dimensions of this role are investigated, including the relative efficacy of social networks as compared to other job search channels, social resources transmitted through social networks, and the effect of social networks on labor market outcomes. Based on in-depth interviews and case studies in Chinese cities, an institutional framework has been developed to formulate hypotheses about the first two dimensions, and a job matching model is proposed to study empirical implications of the third dimension. Quantitative analyses of Chinese five-city survey data show that social networks have a significant effect in helping job applicants to obtain jobs in economic sectors of varying ownership forms and institutional arrangements. Furthermore, the impact of social networks on finding soft-skill jobs is remarkable; compared to the technical jobs, the communication and service jobs are more possible to be obtained via social networks. In addition, as a type of resource transmitted through social networks, influence presents a significant effect in finding jobs located in different institutional spheres than information does. As proved in the job matching model, social networks that are employed by job seekers and by prospective employers, respectively, tend to enhance job matches and have significant effects on other labor market outcomes.
Note Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2006
Language English
Format Thesis
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