The Inefficacy of Strong Ties Networks in Migration Employment Outcomes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Asian Journal of Social Science


Brill Academic Publishers


School of Arts and Humanities


Absuelo, R., & Hancock, P. (2018). The inefficacy of strong ties networks in migration employment outcomes. Asian Journal of Social Science, 46(3), 235-259. Available here


We examined Philippine graduates' use of social networks to obtain initial employment in the United States labour market. Our research focused on employment opportunities and found that Philippine graduates' usage of Strong Ties networks contributed to underemployment. Reliance on Strong Ties networking decreased respondents' broader range of US employment opportunities and further impeded their prospects of upward employment mobility. While the Philippine graduates' Strong Ties networking provided assistance and most specifically acted as intermediaries for gaining their initial employment, this type of networking had a significant impact resulting in poor labour market outcomes and rather imperfect long-term employment opportunities. Moreover, we found that, in conjunction with the use of Strong Ties, key variables, such as low-demand degree fields, lower educational attainment, lesser proficiency in English and green card status, were also strongly associated with poor employment outcomes.



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