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Fixed-term contracts in East and West Germany: Low wages, poor prospects?

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  • McGinnity, Frances
  • Mertens, Antje
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    Abstract

    Amid lively debate on the consequences of temporary employment, the paper examines the wages and transitions of temporary employees in Germany using socio-economic panel data from the late 1990s. Compared to simple OLS estimates, using a fixed effects model decreases wage differentials between permanent and temporary workers. A two-step instrumental variables estimator leads to insignificant estimates, suggesting that the contract type is an endogenous variable. Moreover, about 1/5 of male temporary employees experience significantly higher 2 and 10 year wage growth than workers on permanent contracts. Using multinomial logistic regression models we find that many temporary workers move into permanent jobs, often with the same employer. For some temporary employment leads to unemployment, particularly those with low human capital. Positioning ourselves between arguments on the positive and negative consequences of temporary employment, we develop the idea of a two-tier labour market for temporary employment in Germany. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes in its series SFB 373 Discussion Papers with number 2002,72.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:200272

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    Related research

    Keywords: mobility; unemployment; Fixed-term contracts; dynamic wages;

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    References

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    1. Dolado, Juan J. & Garcia-Serrano, Carlos & Jimeno, Juan Francisco, 2001. "Drawing Lessons From the Boom of Temporary Jobs in Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 2884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. 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.
    3. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1995. "Labor Adjustment under Different Institutional Structures: A Case Study of Germany and the United States," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Friedrich Buttler & Wolfgang Franz & Ronald Schettkat & David Soskice (ed.), Institutional Frameworks and Labor Market Performance: Comparative Views on the U.S. and German Economies, pages 285-315 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    4. Hunt, Jennifer, 2000. "Firing Costs, Employment Fluctuations and Average Employment: An Examination of Germany," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(266), pages 177-202, May.
    5. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones Or Dead Ends?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F189-F213, June.
    6. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Juan F. Jimeno & Luis Toharia, 1993. "The effects of fixed-term employment on wages: theory and evidence from Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 17(3), pages 475-494, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "The macroeconomic impact of flexible labor contracts, with an application to Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1013-1047, June.
    10. Holmlund, Bertil & Storrie, Donald, 2001. "Temporary Work in Turbulent Times: The Swedish Experience," Working Paper Series 2002:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    11. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin & Marianne Pauchet, 1999. "Fixed-term Contracts and the Dynamics of Labour Demand," Working Papers 99-02, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
    12. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, 2000. "Work transitions into and out of involuntary temporary employment in a segmented market: Evidence from Spain," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 309-325, January.
    13. María A.Davia & Virginia Hernanz, 2004. "Temporary employment and segmentation in the Spanish labour market: An empirical analysis through the study of wage differentials," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 291-318, December.
    14. 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.
    15. Boeri, Tito, 1999. "Enforcement of employment security regulations, on-the-job search and unemployment duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 65-89, January.
    16. Boockmann, Bernhard & Hagen, Tobias, 2001. "The use of flexible working contracts in West Germany: evidence from an establishment panel," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-33, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    Cited by:
    1. Picchio, M., 2006. "Wage differentials between temporary and permanent workers in Italy," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5573982, Tilburg University.
    2. Boockmann, Bernhard & Hagen, Tobias, 2005. "Fixed-term Contracts as Sorting Mechanisms: Evidence From Job Durations in West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-85, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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