We study how active labor market policies affect the exchange of information and support among jobseekers. Leveraging a unique social network survey in Ethiopia, we find that a randomized job-search assistance intervention reduces information sharing and support between treated jobseekers and their active job-search partners. Due to lower job-search support, untreated individuals search less and, suggestively, have worse employment outcomes. These results are explained by a model of networks where unemployed individuals form job-search partnerships to exploit the complementarities of job search. These partnerships are broken if policy creates inequality in the access to information about job vacancies.
job search social networks RCT active labor market policies