Department of Economics
404 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2019||Information, Mobile Communication, and Referral Effects|
with Panle Jia Barwick, Yanyan Liu, Eleonora Patacchini: w25873
Information is a crucial ingredient in economic decision making. Yet measuring the extent of information exchange among individuals and its effect on economic outcomes is a difficult task. We use the universe of de-identified cellphone usage records from more than one million users in a Chinese city over twelve months to quantify information exchange among individuals and examine its role in urban labor markets. We present the first empirical evidence that information flow (measured by call volume) correlates strongly with worker flows, a pattern that persists at different levels of geographic aggregation. Conditional on information flow, socioeconomic diversity in the source of information (social contacts), especially that associated with the working population, is crucial and helps to p...