Jason Greenberg, New York University

Lecture title:

What’s the Value of Social Capital? A Within-Person Job Offer and Choice Test


Jason Greenberg, Stern School of Business, New York University

Speaker(s) Web Pages:

Semester: Winter 2015

Date: Friday, January 16, 2015

Time: 1:30 - 3:00 PM

Venue: Room R1240, Ross School of Business

Additional Notes:


Whether and how social capital derived through social ties creates value has animated substantial research in sociology, economics, and political science. Sociologists are generally inclined to believe that social ties have a causal impact on labor market outcomes—that is, it is “who you know” that counts to some degree. However, the evidence informing this belief is often inconsistent and circumstantial, thus requiring an indirect approach to inference. In this research we propose and test a model that addresses the limitations of prior research by leveraging unique data on contemporaneous job search with detailed information about job search channels and offer characteristics in alternative-specific job attributes and choice models. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we find that search through social networks typically results in job offers with lower total compensation (e.g., -18.0% for those derived through referrals from family and friends v. formal recruiting, -15.4% for those derived via alumni referrals). However, offers derived through alumni contacts (weak bridging ties) are more likely to be accepted because they are perceived as having better growth prospects.

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