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Transitions and occupational changes in a West African urban labour market: the role of social network

Christophe J. Nordman, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
Laure Pasquier-Doumer, UMR DIAL IRD

This paper sheds light on the role of social networks in the dynamics of workers in Ouagadougou. We examine the extent to which one's network is essential in labour market transitions, in particular from unemployment to employment, and from wage employment to self-employment. In addition, this paper investigates which dimension of the social network has the main effect on these transitions, by distinguishing quantity and quality of the network. We use a first-hand survey conducted in 2009 in Ouagadougou on a representative sample of 2000 households. This survey provides event history data and very detailed information on social networks. To estimate labour market transitions, we rely on survival analysis that makes use of proportional hazard models for discrete-time data. We find that social networks have a significant effect on the dynamics of individuals in the labour market and that this effect differs depending on the type of transition considered.

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Presented in Session 55: Population and economic outcomes at the micro and macro levels