Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth

Harry J. Holzer

NBER Working Paper No. 1859
Issued in March 1986
NBER Program(s):   LS

In this paper I investigate the use of different search methods by unemployed youth. I present a job search model which shows that search method choices should be related to their costs and expected productivities, as well as other factors such as nonwage income and wage offer distributions. I then present empirical evidence on the use of these methods and their effects on employment outcomes. These results show that the most frequently used search methods, which are friends and relatives and direct applications without referral, are also the most productive in generating job offers and acceptances. Econometric evidence then shows that the number of methods used is affected by factors which presumably reflect market opportunities as well as income sources and needs. While the use of specific search methods respond differently to these factors, they are chosen in a manner which generates positive average effects on employment outcomes for those who use them. The results are thus consistent with the search model presented here.

download in pdf format
   (267 K)

download in djvu format
   (199 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (267 K) or DjVu (199 K) (Download viewer) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1859

Published: Holzer, Harry J. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," Journal of Labor Economics, 1988, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1988, pp. 1-20. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Clark and Summers The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment
Holzer w1860 Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment
Freeman and Wise The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature Causes and Consequences
Holzer w2185 Hiring Procedures in the Firm: Their Economic Determinants and Outcomes
Holzer w1861 Employed and Unemployed Job Search: A Comparison of Choices and Outcomes among Youth
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us