Informations and abstract
The way in which people enter into a job is relevant to understand the mechanisms that regulate the "social redistribution" of job opportunities among people. In this way we can understand the paths that lead to exclusion, from work primarily, and through it from social participation in a wider sense. Therefore the job attainment process is our main concern in this paper. Using 1994 ECHP data the paper analyses the attained job status of actors' who use social contacts as the main channel to get a job in 1994. The results demonstrate that there exists a real trade-off between three different types of job attainment regulation. Following a well established research tradition, these three main forms of job matching are defined as market, state and networks. These three institutions manage the whole process through which job seekers are matched to vacancies. The paper considers five European countries with different labour market structures and describes the way in which the job matching process is mainly regulated in each. Subsequently, the consequences of such different forms of labour market entry regulation are analysed and it is shown that when the job matching process is mainly regulated by individuals' social capital, ascriptive social inequalities are reproduced. However, the market is also incapable of eliminating such inequalities. The findings demonstrate that only in those countries in which the state plays an important role in helping people to get a job, do job matching processes not result in processes of social exclusion.