A Comparison of the Quality and Economic Effectiveness of the Social Networks among Latinos in Boston and Los Angeles

Nadia Flores, University of Pennsylvania

Studies have suggested that the social support among Latinos in the U.S. can help them find jobs, but not necessarily better jobs. In this paper I explore whether there are any differences among different Latino groups with respect to the quality of their social networks and economic outcomes. Relying on the “Strength of Weak Ties" argument of Granovetter (1973), and using the Multy-City Study of Urban Inequality (MCSUI) data for Boston and Los Angeles, I first construct a Network Quality Score (NQS) from characteristics of the contacts for each respondent. I then estimate two OLS regression models. In one, I estimate the determinants of a high quality social network, and in the other model, I use the NQS to predict logged wages. Preliminary findings suggest that the Mexicans in Los Angeles possess a higher quality social network than Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in Boston, however Mexicans earn lower wages.

Presented in Session 47: Immigrants and Labor Markets