Simulation models

Lamest Model

Ruth Meyer

The Labour Markets and Ethnic Segmentation (LaMESt) Model is a model of a simplified labour market, where only jobs of the lowest skill level are considered. Immigrants of two different ethnicities (“Latino”, “Asian”) compete with a majority (“White”) and minority (“Black”) native population for these jobs. This model has been developed within the research project Social Complexity of Immigration and Diversity

The model’s purpose is to investigate the effect of ethnically homogeneous social networks on the emergence of ethnic segmentation in such a labour market. It is inspired by Waldinger & Lichter’s study of immigration and the social organisation of labour in 1990’s Los Angeles. They pose the theory that social networks are of central importance to the development of ethnically segmented labour markets because they allow for information about job vacancies in niche areas to flow rapidly within ethnically homogeneous networks where members are already employed within that niche, meaning certain groups could react more quickly than others to opportunities. Employers, meanwhile, could utilise these networks as a cost-effective way to gain employees with pre-existing obligations, not only to their employer, but also their co-workers and fellow network members.

The model and its documentation are freely available from the CoMSES Computational Model Library (formely

You can also have a look at a paper based on an earlier version of the model.