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Soziale netzwerke und jobfindung von hochschulabsolventen—die bedeutung des netzwerktyps für monetäre arbeitsmarkterträge und ausbildungsadäquatheit : the impact of network type on monetary returns and job adequacy

Weiss, Felix and Klein, Markus (2011) Soziale netzwerke und jobfindung von hochschulabsolventen—die bedeutung des netzwerktyps für monetäre arbeitsmarkterträge und ausbildungsadäquatheit : the impact of network type on monetary returns and job adequacy. Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 40 (3). pp. 228-245.

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Abstract

This article investigates the effect in terms of vocational advantages of the use of social capital in searching for a job among recent graduates of higher education in Germany. In contrast to previous studies, we extend the analysis and distinguish between different types of networks that are used in job searches. In accordance with the literature that concentrates on the impact of social capital as a resource per se, our findings do not indicate any effects on monetary returns. However, in contrast to Franzen & Hangartner (2005, 2006) we also do not find any positive effects on job adequacy. Finding jobs via social networks even increases the risk of overqualification. The differentiation of social capital into various types of network contacts, such as those established while working during one's studies or via parents and friends, leads to a fundamentally different picture: the impact of social networks on job characteristics depends to a large extent on the type of network contacts and on the type of outcome under consideration. Hence, we conclude that there is no homogeneous effect of social capital on labor market outcomes, in particular in the case of graduates of higher education. Studies which explore the heterogeneous effects of networks that offer access to different kinds of resources promise to be more conclusive.