Labor Market as a Dating Network

Richard Freedman writes (via a former professor’s excellent blog) that

Connections between workers and firms in the United States have more the flavor of a dating game, with workers and firms changing partners frequently, whereas connections between workers and firms in most advanced countries have more the flavor of a stable marriage.

I’d love to see an actual map of (a sample of) the labor market “dating network.” The nodes could be color-coded by length of stay and/or size-coded by salary, and the edges could be color-coded by time spent unemployed between jobs. I’m sure this is doable by scraping LinkedIn and maybe matching salaries from Glassdoor. Better yet, divide the labor force into cohorts by age and see how the networks differ across generations. There are at least two generations of users with significant representation on LinkedIn.

Then again, I’d rather know if the map differs for non-LinkedIn users, and how. And whether demographic differences would be confounding or causal. UPDATE: This and this might help (via Victoria Stodden), with this and other projects.

The paper is also a great, easy read. It lays out a lot of facts about employment and unemployment in the US, and then runs through a few plausible explanations of why this recovery was more jobless than the Great Depression (in terms of aggregate “employment-output elasticity”).

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Filed under Labor, Network Analysis, Unemployment

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