Market Transition and Network-Based Job Matching in China: The Referrer Perspective

Published: 3 September 2020

Authors: Elena Obukhova, Brian Rubineau

Publication: Industrial Labor Relations Review (ILR Review), July 28, 2020


To better understand how network-based job matching responds to market development, the authors investigate network matching in China. They examine this question from the perspective of referrers, those who share information about job opportunities with potential job candidates. Using unique data from a population survey and leveraging interprovincial differences in market development, the authors show that market development has a negative association with individuals’ propensity to share job information. People who work at firms that offer a referral bonus and people who work at private firms, however, are more likely to share information and share it with more people, and the number of such employers increases with market transition. This increase can produce a positive association between market development and overall prevalence of job information-sharing. Results clarify the role employer-side processes play in job information-sharing and carry important implications for understanding network matching.


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