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Temporary Jobs and Job Search Effort in Europe

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  • Kahn, Lawrence M.

    ()
    (Cornell University)

Abstract

Using longitudinal data on individuals from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) for eight countries during 1995-2001, I investigate temporary job contract duration and job search effort. The countries are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. I construct a search model for workers in temporary jobs which predicts that shorter duration raises search intensity. Calibration of the model to the ECHP data implies that at least 59% of the increase in search intensity over the life a long term temporary job occurs in the last period. I then estimate regression models for search effort that control for human capital, pay, local unemployment, gender, and time and country fixed effects, I find that workers on temporary jobs indeed search harder than those on permanent jobs. Moreover, search intensity increases as temporary job duration falls, and at least 80% of this increase occurs on average in the shortest duration jobs. These results are robust to disaggregation by gender and country and to individual fixed effects. These empirical results are noteworthy, since it is not necessary to assume myopia or hyperbolic discounting in order to explain them, although the data clearly also do not rule out such explanations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4020.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2012, 19 (1), 113-128
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4020

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Keywords: temporary jobs; job search;

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  1. M. Daniele Paserman, 2004. "Job Search and Hyperbolic Discounting: Structural Estimation and Policy Evaluation," 2004 Meeting Papers 99, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Erling Barth & Harald Dale-Olsen, 1999. "Monopsonistic Discrimination and the Gender-Wage Gap," NBER Working Papers 7197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2002. "Temporary jobs, employment protection and labor market performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 63-91, February.
  4. Katz, Lawrence F. & Meyer, Bruce D., 1990. "The impact of the potential duration of unemployment benefits on the duration of unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 45-72, February.
  5. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "The Impact of Employment Protection Mandates on Demographic Temporary Employment Patterns: International Microeconomic Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 333-356, 06.
  6. David H. Autor & Susan Houseman, 2005. "Do Temporary Help Jobs Improve Labor Market Outcomes for Low-Skilled Workers? Evidence from 'Work First'," NBER Working Papers 11743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Stefano DellaVigna & M. Daniele Paserman, 2004. "Job Search and Impatience," NBER Working Papers 10837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Kahn, Lawrence M., 2007. "Employment Protection Reforms, Employment and the Incidence of Temporary Jobs in Europe: 1995–2001," IZA Discussion Papers 3241, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Burdett, Kenneth, 1979. "Unemployment Insurance Payments as a Search Subsidy: A Theoretical Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(3), pages 333-43, July.
  11. O Blanchard & A Landier, 2002. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labour Market Reform: fixed--Term Contracts in France," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F214-F244, June.
  12. Francine D. Blau & Larry M. Kahn, 1981. "Race and sex differences in quits by young workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(4), pages 563-577, July.
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