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An increasing amount of literature has suggested that a lack of social networks partly explains the disadvantaged groups’ inferior socioeconomic outcomes. Although the hypothesis sounds plausible, the indicators of social networks vary in the empirical research, and thus the real world implications are unclear. This chapter reviews relevant literature, aiming to assess different social network indicators in the empirical studies and suggest additional appropriate indicators. To do so, this chapter reviews theoretical literature on social networks as well as empirical studies that use social networks to explain employment outcomes. It then evaluates the validity of the social network indicators in the empirical studies. And finally, it suggests additional indicators that are feasible and conceptually sound. The findings illuminate future empirical research by clarifying theoretical concepts of social networks, supporting the usage of household or neighborhood characteristics as social network indicators, and suggesting addition indicators that have been overlooked.
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- Spatial Characteristics of Social Networks
- Chapter 5