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Card-index course

Social networks and access to jobs: a statistical analysis of surveys

Réseau social et accès à l'emploi: analyser une enquête statistique

Responsible Faculty: Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (SSP)

Teacher(s): Daniel Oesch
Lecturer(s): -

Validity: 2019 -> 2019

No timetable defined.


Autumn semester
4 hours per week
56 hours per semester

Teaching language(s): French
Public: Yes
Credits: 0


A first objective of this seminar is to enable the students to apply different statistical techniques to the analysis of a survey. The focus will be on the practical application rather than the statistical theory. A second objective is to introduce the students to the research about the role of social networks in getting a job. Our methodological exercises will thus be set in the context of economic sociology, and our readings will include classics such as Mark Granovetter and the Strength of Weak Ties.


The exercises and students' research paper will be based on a LIVES survey, which includes 4500 unemployed individuals in the canton of Vaud in 2013. This survey provides a host of information about people's social networks, their job search behaviour and their return to employment. This enables us to examine the following questions: What groups of unemployed people benefit from the help of their personal contacts to return to a job? What are the crucial social contacts helping in finding a job? Are jobs found through one's social network of better quality than those found through formal search channels? In terms of methods, we will first analyse the questionnaire and then discuss three problems: the use of different types of regressions, selection effects and biases introduced by non-observed variables. In order to receive the course credits, students will have to present and discuss articles, resolve practical exercises in the IT lab with the statistical software R, and write a small research paper - individually or in a group.

Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15