Empirical Essays on the Economic Analysis of Social Connections
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Social connections represent an important determinant of economic agents’ behaviour. The three chapters of this thesis empirically analyse the effect of different types of networks on several economic outcomes. The first chapter analyses the role played by co-worker networks on immigrants’ employment outcomes. It investigates how immigrants’ job search outcomes are affected by the labour market outcomes of co-workers from the same country of origin. Using matched employer-employee micro data from Italy and an instrumental variables approach, I show that an increase in the employment prospects of socially connected workers improves immigrants’ job search outcomes. The paper also sheds light on the different mechanisms generating the social effect and it highlights the role of migrant networks in explaining immigrant segregation. Chapter 2 employs a unique dataset on articles, authors and editors of the top four economics journals over the period 2000-2006 to investigate the role of social ties in the publication process. Connections between editors and authors are identified based on their academic histories. Regression results show that the existence of a social tie with an editor positively affects publication outcomes of connected scholars. The analysis of citations shows that connected articles receive on average a higher number of citations than non-connected ones. The final chapter focuses on the impact of female managers on female workers’ employment outcomes. Exploiting changes in the share of female managers induced by firms’ takeovers, I find no statistically significant effect of an increase in the presence of female managers on employment outcomes of female workers. However there is an interesting negative effect on wage inequality within the acquiring firm, which may matter for both equity and efficiency reasons.
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