Nordic Centre of Excellence:
Reassessing the Nordic
Bjørn Hvinden +4722541217
Viggo Nordvik +4722541269
Mi Ah Schøyen +4722541286
Network, Unemployment and Employment Chances
International conference arranged by Centre for Comparative Welfare Studies & BPFNET at Aalborg University, Denmark, 29 October 2007.
The traditional micro-economic perspectives on the transition from unemployment to employment are increasingly recognized as insufficient. A number of Scandinavian studies have shown that the link between short term economic incentives and transition to employment is modest at best. In particular, the connection between search activities and employment chances, which is crucial to search theory, seems surprisingly weak. The level of human capital is of greater importance but it is far from a sufficient explanation. The conference will discuss a third position; the importance of networks. It is well known that a large number of vacant job openings are filled through informal networks but we do not have much systematic knowledge about the implications for unemployed.
The conference brings together one of the leading international scholars in this field, Ted Mouw, and representatives from Scandinavian research environments which have conducted studies within this field. A special effort has been made to bring together researchers that respectively investigated search behaviour among unemployed and recruitment procedures among employers. As pointed out by Mark Granovetter it is imperative to see the labour market from both sides but it is seldom done in practical research.
The conference is also of practical relevance. Most active labour market policy has been understood within the framework of human capital and incentives. A central question has been how incentives and level of human capital can be improved. However, it might be of equal relevance to discuss how public policies can influence the character and the importance of informal networks. Therefore the conference will be an ideal place for researchers and individuals in administrative positions to debate the future of labour market policy.
Download the the programme (pdf file):