POLPAN Seminar: ‘Hard Times – Strong Ties? How the Conditions of Local Economy Impact on Getting a Job’

During the POLPAN Seminar on March 8th, Dr. Mikolaj Pawlak (University of Warsaw) and Dr. Michal Kotnarowski (Polish Academy of Sciences) presented a paper titled ‘Hard Times – Strong Ties? How the Conditions of Local Economy Impact on Getting a Job.’


The seminal work of Mark Granovetter (1973) proved that weak ties play a crucial role in the flow of information on the labor market. Researchers try to explain the labor markets variations in the usage of ties when getting a job by turning to different factors: cultural, institutional and structural. The assumption that economic conditions in a labor market are of crucial influence are often repeated but there is no strong empirical evidence provided to support this view. In our paper, we intend to answer the question how does economic situation in a given market influence the getting a job behaviors. We use a dataset of nationwide sample of Polish employees who got a new job, in the July 2013-February 2015 period which was merged with the National Statistical Office data about the local economic situation. In comparison to the studies on the getting a job our dataset is unique since it contains characteristics of respondents together with data about economic conditions of their localities at the moment of employment. According to results of our analysis, employees in areas with worse economic conditions are more likely to use personal contacts and strong ties to obtain jobs, yet the proportion of usage of strong versus weak ties remains constant.