This paper proposes a simple social network model of occupational segregation, generated by the existence of inbreeding bias among individuals of the same social group. If network referrals are important in getting a job, then expected inbreeding bias in the social structure results in different career choices for individuals from different social groups, which further translates into stable occupational segregation equilibria within the labour market. Our framework can be regarded as complementary to existing discrimination or rational bias theories used to explain persistent observed occupational disparities between various social groups.

labour market, occupational segregation, social networks
Sociology of Economics (jel A14), Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials by Skill, Training, Occupation, etc. (jel J31), Labor Discrimination: General (jel J70), Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification (jel Z13)
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series
Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute
Tinbergen Institute

Buhai, I.S, & van der Leij, M.J. (2006). A Social Network Analysis of Occupational Segregation (No. TI 06-016/1). Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute. Retrieved from