Neighbors and Co-Workers:
The Importance of Residential Labor Market Networks

Judith K. Hellerstein
Melissa McInerney
David Neumark

March 2010


We specify and implement a test for the presence and importance of labor market network based on residential proximity in determining the establishments at which people work. Using matched employer-employee data at the establishment level, we measure the importance of these network effects for groups broken out by race, ethnicity, and various measures of skill. The evidence indicates that these types of labor market networks do exist and play an important role in determining the establishments where workers work, that they are more important for minorities and the less-skilled, especially among Hispanics, and that these networks appear to be race-based.

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