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Publication - Professor Owen Crankshaw

    Causal Mechanisms, Job Search and the Labour Market Spatial Mismatch

    A Realist Criticism of the Neo-positivist Method

    Citation

    Crankshaw, O, 2014, ‘Causal Mechanisms, Job Search and the Labour Market Spatial Mismatch: A Realist Criticism of the Neo-positivist Method’. Journal of Critical Realism, vol 13., pp. 498?519

    Abstract

    Many studies of the labour market spatial mismatch rely on the deductivenomological
    model of causation to test the theory that low-skilled, inner-city
    residents have been isolated from the knowledge of job opportunities by the
    suburbanization of jobs. The logic of this approach follows the deductivenomological
    model of explanation which establishes causation by measuring
    the constant conjunctions between ‘causes’ and ‘effects’. As an alternative, I
    have used a realist approach to the study of the labour market spatial
    mismatch that uses a ‘causal-explanatory’ method. This approach entails the
    qualitative description of the causal mechanism in order to discover and
    conceptualize its causal properties. The results suggest that the spatial
    mismatch theory could be refined in order to accommodate the finding that
    workers in excluded ghettos do not necessarily rely solely on local social
    networks to find out about job vacancies. Instead, workers with employment
    experience have strong workplace-based social networks. Since employers
    recruit workers by relying on referrals from trusted workers, these workplace-based social networks can put job seekers at the front of the hiring queue,
    regardless of where they live.

    Full details in the University publications repository