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A Study of the Extent and Potential Causes of Alternative Employment Arrangements

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  • Peter Cappelli
  • JR Keller
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    Abstract

    The notion of regular, full-time employment as one of the defining features of the U.S. economy has been called into question in recent years by the apparent growth of alternative or “nonstandard” arrangements – part-time work, temporary help, independent contracting, and other arrangements. Identifying the extent of these arrangements, whether they are increasing, and where they occur is the first step for understanding their implications for the economy and the society. But this has been difficult to do because of the lack of appropriate data. We present estimates of the extent of these practices based on a national probability sample of U.S. establishments, evidence on changes in their use over time, and analyses that help us begin to understand why they are used.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18376.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18376

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    1. Susan N. Houseman, 2001. "Why employers use flexible staffing arrangements: Evidence from an establishment survey," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 149-170, October.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Cynthia L. Gramm & John F. Schnell, 2001. "The Use of flexible staffing arrangements in core production jobs," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 245-258, January.
    5. Traci L. Mach & John A. Holmes, 2008. "The use of alternative employment arrangements by small businesses: evidence from the 2003 Survey of Small Business Finances," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Miles, Thomas J, 2000. "Common Law Exceptions to Employment at Will and U.S. Labor Markets," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 74-101, April.
    7. Britton Lombardi & Yukako Ono, 2008. "Professional employer organizations: What are they, who uses them, and why should we care?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 2-14.
    8. Stacey L. Schreft & Aarti Singh, 2003. "A closer look at jobless recoveries," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 45-73.
    9. 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.
    10. Jamie Peck & Nik Theodore, 2007. "Flexible recession: the temporary staffing industry and mediated work in the United States," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 171-192, March.
    11. Lars W. Mitlacher, 2007. "The Role of Temporary Agency Work in Different Industrial Relations Systems - a Comparison between Germany and the USA," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(3), pages 581-606, 09.
    12. Brenda A. Lautsch, 2002. "Uncovering and explaining variance in the features and outcomes of contingent work," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 23-43, October.
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