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Is a Temporary Job Better than Unemployment?: A Cross-Country Comparison Based on British, German, and Swiss Panel Data

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  • Michael Gebel
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    Abstract

    While many previous studies on temporary work have found disadvantages for temporary workers as compared to workers with a permanent contract, this study compares temporary work to the alternative of unemployment. Specifically, this paper investigates the potential integrative power of taking up a temporary job for unemployed workers as compared to the counterfactual situation of remaining unemployed and searching for another job. Applying a dynamic propensity-score matching approach based on British, (West and East) German, and Swiss panel data during the period of 1991-2009, it is shown that taking up a temporary job increases the employment chances during the subsequent five years in (West and East) Germany and the UK. Moreover, the chances of having a permanent contract remain higher and a persistent wage premium can be found during the subsequent five years of the career. Advantages of taking up a temporary job are slightly stronger in West Germany compared to East Germany, where temporary contracts are often based on public job creation measures with limited integration potential. Neither long-run advantages nor disadvantages of taking up a temporary job can be found in the case of the flexible Swiss labour market.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.416973.de/diw_sp0543.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 543.

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    Length: 32 p.
    Date of creation: 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp543

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