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Reassessing the Wage Penalty for Temps in Germany

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  • Jahn, Elke J.

    ()
    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

Abstract

As a consequence of the rapid growth of temporary agency employment in Germany, the debate on the poor working conditions of temps, specifically their remuneration, has intensified recently. Using administrative data, the paper shows that the wage gap for German temp workers is rather large and varies between occupation and region. But temps already suffer from a marked wage decline before entering the temporary help sector. Nevertheless, temporary agency employment does not leave a long lasting scar. Two years after leaving the sector, temps no longer suffer from a wage penalty. A recent change in the law set a high incentive for temporary help agencies to pay their workers according to a sectoral collective agreement. Surprisingly, the unionization of the sector could not bring the widening wage gap to a halt.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3663.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik, 2010, 230 (2), 208-233
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3663

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Keywords: temporary agency employment; wage differential; earnings; Germany; reform;

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References

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  1. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1990. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, and Wages," NBER Working Papers 3387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Antoni, Manfred & Jahn, Elke J., 2006. "Do changes in regulation affect employment duration in temporary work agencies?," IAB Discussion Paper 200618, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  3. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Osikominu, Aderonke & Völter, Robert, 2005. "Imputation Rules to Improve the Education Variable in the IAB Employment Subsample," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-10, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  13. Matthew Dey & Susan Houseman & Anne Polivka, 2006. "Manufacturers' Outsourcing to Employment Services," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 07-132, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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  17. 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.
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  19. Brücker, Herbert & Jahn, Elke J., 2008. "Migration and the Wage-Settings Curve: Reassessing the Labor Market Effects of Migration," Working Papers 08-4, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jahn, Elke J. & Rosholm, Michael, 2010. "Looking Beyond the Bridge: How Temporary Agency Employment Affects Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 10-6, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  2. Jahn, Elke J. & Weber, Enzo, 2012. "Identifying the Substitution Effect of Temporary Agency Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 6471, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jahn, Elke J. & Bentzen, Jan, 2010. "What Drives the Demand for Temporary Agency Workers?," IZA Discussion Papers 5333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Andrea Filippo Presbitero & Matteo G. Richiardi & Alessia Amighini, 2012. "Is labor flexibility a substitute to offshoring? Evidence from Italian manafacturing," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 72, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  5. Eichhorst, Werner & Tobsch, Verena, 2013. "Has Atypical Work Become Typical in Germany?," IZA Discussion Papers 7609, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Florian Baumann & Mario Mechtel & Nikolai Stähler, 2011. "Employment Protection and Temporary Work Agencies," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 25(3), pages 308-329, 09.
  7. Werner Eichhorst & Verena Tobsch, 2013. "Has Atypical Work Become Typical in Germany?: Country Case Studies on Labour Market Segmentation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 596, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  8. Smirnykh, Larisa & Wörgötter, Andreas, 2013. "Why Do Russian Firms Use Fixed-Term and Agency Work Contracts?," IZA Policy Papers 54, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Andersson Joona, Pernilla & Wadensjö, Eskil, 2012. "A Price for Flexibility? The Temp Agency Wage Gap in Sweden 1998-2008," IZA Discussion Papers 6587, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Grün, Carola & Mahringer, Helmut & Rhein, Thomas, 2011. "Low-wage jobs: a means for employment integration of the unemployed? : evidence from administrative data in Germany and Austria," IAB Discussion Paper 201101, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

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