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Examining the Determinants of Agency Work: Do Family Friendly Practices Play a Role?

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Author Info

  • Heywood, John S.

    ()
    (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)

  • Siebert, W. Stanley

    ()
    (University of Birmingham)

  • Wei, Xiangdong

    ()
    (Lingnan University)

Abstract

This paper uses establishment data to estimate the determinants of using agency workers. It contends that those employers with less ability to direct effort of core workers are more likely to use agency workers to meet uncertain labor demand. Family friendly practices are viewed as either increasing or decreasing such ability, depending upon their influence upon absence rates. The empirical results imply that special leave practices reduce firms’ ability to direct worker effort, thereby increasing the likelihood of using agency workers. On the other hand, practices linked with flexible working conditions (workplace nurseries, flexitime and job sharing) have the opposite effect. The findings thus distinguish between family friendly practices that make core workers better off without expanding contingent agency jobs, and those that do not.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2413.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Estimating the Use of Agency Workers: Can Family-Friendly Practices Reduce Their Use?' in: Industrial Relations, 2011, 50 (3), 535 - 564
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2413

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Related research

Keywords: family friendly work practices; workplace nurseries; agency work; flexitime; maternity leave;

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References

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  1. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2004. "Teams, Teamwork and Absence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(4), pages 765-782, December.
  2. Kvasnicka, Michael, 2003. "Inside The Black Box of Temporary Help Agencies," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,43, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  3. Deardorff, Alan V & Stafford, Frank P, 1976. "Compensation of Cooperating Factors," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 671-84, July.
  4. Rebecca Edwards, 2006. "Maternity Leave and the Evidence for Compensating Wage Differentials in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(258), pages 281-297, 09.
  5. Duncan, Greg J & Stafford, Frank P, 1980. "Do Union Members Receive Compensating Wage Differentials?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 355-71, June.
  6. David H. Autor, 2000. "Outsourcing at Will: Unjust Dismissal Doctrine and the Growth of Temporary Help Employment," NBER Working Papers 7557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Injae Lee & Dong-bae Kim, 2005. "Unions and the use of flexible staffing in korea: evidence from an establishment survey," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 223-234.
  8. Michael D. S. Morris & Alexander Vekker, 2001. "An Alternative Look at Temporary Workers, Their Choices, and the Growth in Temporary Employment," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 22(2), pages 373-390, April.
  9. 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.
  10. Chris Forde & Gary Slater, 2004. "Agency working in Britain: character, consequences and regulation," Working Papers 2004/4, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division.
  11. Yoshio Higuchi & Jane Waldfogel & Masahiro Abe, 1999. "Family leave policies and women's retention after childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain, and Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
  12. Coles, Melvyn G. & Treble, John G., 1996. "Calculating the price of worker reliability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 169-188, September.
  13. Katharine G. Abraham, 1988. "Flexible Staffing Arrangements and Employers' Short-Term Adjustment Strategies," NBER Working Papers 2617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Allen, Steven G, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Work Attendance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 77-87, February.
  15. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fabio Berton & Francesco Devicienti & Lia Pacelli, 2009. "Are Temporary Jobs a Port of Entry into Permanent Employment? Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working papers 6, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
  2. René Böheim & Martina Zweimüller, 2009. "The employment of temporary agency workers in the UK – with or against the trade unions?," NRN working papers 2009-21, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

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