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‘Atypical Work’ and Compensation

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  • John T. Addison

    (University of South Carolina (U.S.A.), GEMF/Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal) and IZA (Germany))

  • Christopher J. Surfield

    (Department of Business Administration, Lander University)

Abstract

Atypical work, or alternative work arrangements in U.S. parlance, has long been criticized in popular debate as providing poorly-compensated employment. Although the early U.S. literature seemed to confirm this perception, more recent cet. par. analysis has offered a partial but somewhat more optimistic evaluation. The present paper builds on the latter body of research with a view to providing improved estimates of the effect of the full range alternative work arrangements on worker compensation. The improvements are basically two-fold. First, we account for the skewness in atypical worker earnings while retaining the Mincerian human capital earnings function. Second, we deploy additional waves of the main dataset on atypical workers (the CAEAS), while supplementing this cross-section analysis with longitudinal data from the NLSY. Our analysis covers earnings and (access to) health benefits. We report that although one group of atypical workers (contractors) seems to enjoy a wage premium, cross-section results from the CPS and NLSY for the better-known category of temporary workers point to a negative wage differential of some 6-15 percent. It emerges that much of the disparity stems from unobserved worker heterogeneity, accounting for which still supports a wage advantage for contracting work. As far as fringes are concerned, the appearance in cross section of a potentially large deficit in access to health benefits is again reduced after accounting for the permanent unobserved individual heterogeneity, although in this case the attenuation is much more modest.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra in its series GEMF Working Papers with number 2005-14.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Southern Economic Journal, 73(4), April 2007
Handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2005-14

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Related research

Keywords: atypical/contingent work; alternative work arrangements; wage differentials; employer-related health insurance;

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References

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  1. David H. Autor, 2001. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1409-1448, November.
  2. Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1997. "The Growth of Temporary Services Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  3. Hirsch, Barry, 2004. "Why Do Part-Time Workers Earn Less? The Role of Worker and Job Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 1261, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Susan N. Houseman & Arne L. Kalleberg & George A. Erickcek, 2003. "The role of temporary agency employment in tight labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(1), pages 105-127, October.
  5. Henry S. Farber, 1999. "Alternative and Part-Time Employment Arrangements as a Response to Job Loss," NBER Working Papers 7002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones or Dead Ends?," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 8, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  7. David H. Autor, 2003. "Outsourcing at Will: The Contribution of Unjust Dismissal Doctrine to the Growth of Employment Outsourcing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-42, January.
  8. Peter R. Mueser & Carolyn J. Heinrich & Kenneth Troske, 2003. "Welfare to Temporary Work: Implications for Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 0308, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  9. Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1998. "Wage differentials for temporary services work: evidence from administrative data," Working Paper Series WP-98-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan K. Taylor, 1993. "Firms' Use of Outside Contractors: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Blackburn, McKinley L., 2007. "Estimating wage differentials without logarithms," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 73-98, January.
  12. John T. Addison & Christopher J. Surfield, 2006. "The Use of Alternative Work Arrangements by the Jobless: Evidence from the CAEAS/CPS," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 27(2), pages 149-162, April.
  13. Chris Forde & Gary Slater, 2005. "Agency Working in Britain: Character, Consequences and Regulation," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(2), pages 249-271, 06.
  14. Marco Manacorda, 2004. "Can the Scala Mobile Explain the Fall and Rise of Earnings Inequality in Italy? A Semiparametric Analysis, 19771993," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 585-614, July.
  15. Farber, Henry S, 1999. "Alternative and Part-Time Employment Arrangements as a Response to Job Loss," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S142-69, October.
  16. Hirsch, Barry & Schumacher, Edward J., 2003. "Match Bias in Wage Gap Estimates Due to Earnings Imputation," IZA Discussion Papers 783, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Susan N. Houseman & Arne L. Kalleberg & George A. Erickcek, . "The Role of Temporary Agency Employment in Tight Labor Markets," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles snhakge2003, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  18. Susan N. Houseman & Anne E. Polivka, 1999. "The Implications of Flexible Staffing Arrangements for Job Stability," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 99-56, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Adelino Fortunato & Daniel Murta, 2005. "Horizontal Differentiation and the survival of Train and Coach modes in medium range passenger transport, a welfare analysis comprising economies of scope and scale," GEMF Working Papers 2005-15, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  2. Marloes de Graaf-Zijl, 2005. "The Attractiveness of Temporary Employment to Reduce Adjustment Costs," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-121/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Tatiana Karabchuk, 2012. "Part-time and temporary workers in Russia: winners or losers?," Journal of Labour Market Research, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 23-39, March.
  4. Marloes de Graaf-Zijl, 2005. "The Anatomy of Job Satisfaction and the Role of Contingent Employment Contracts," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-119/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Marloes de Graaf-Zijl, 2005. "Compensation of On-call and Fixed-term Employment: the Role of Uncertainty," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-120/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Blandina Oliveira & Adelino Fortunato, 2005. "The Dynamics of the Growth of Firms: Evidence from the Services Sector," GEMF Working Papers 2005-04, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.

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