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Looking beyond the bridge: The effect of temporary agency employment on labor market outcomes


  • Jahn, Elke J.
  • Rosholm, Michael


We perform a comprehensive analysis of the stepping-stone effect of temporary agency employment on unemployed workers. Using the timing-of-events approach, we investigate not only whether agency employment is a bridge into regular employment but also its effect on post-unemployment wages and job stability for unemployed Danish workers. We find evidence of large positive treatment effects, particularly for immigrants and for individuals considered less employable. Our results show that agency employment is in tendency effective in tight labor markets, where firms use agency employment primarily to screen potential candidates for regular posts. Finally, our results suggest that agency employment may improve subsequent match quality in terms of wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Jahn, Elke J. & Rosholm, Michael, 2014. "Looking beyond the bridge: The effect of temporary agency employment on labor market outcomes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 108-125.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:65:y:2014:i:c:p:108-125 DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2013.11.001

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    Cited by:

    1. Rothe, Thomas & Wälde, Klaus, 2017. "Where did all the unemployed go? : Non-standard work in Germany after the Hartz reforms," IAB Discussion Paper 201718, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Gianna C. Giannelli & Ursula Jaenichen & Thomas Rothe, 2016. "The evolution of job stability and wages after the implementation of the Hartz reforms
      [Die Entwicklung von Beschäftigungsstabilität und Löhnen seit Einführung der Hartz-Reformen]
      ," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(3), pages 269-294, November.
    3. Ferreira Sequeda M.T. & Grip A. de & Velden R.K.W. van der, 2015. "Does on-the-job informal learning in OECD countries differ by contract duration?," ROA Research Memorandum 008, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    4. Nguyen, Huu-Chi. & Nguyen-Huu, Thanh Tam. & Le, Thi-Thuy-Linh., 2016. "Non-standard forms of employment in some Asian countries : a study of wages and working conditions of temporary workers," ILO Working Papers 994901213402676, International Labour Organization.
    5. Schmidl, Ricarda, 2015. "The Effectiveness of Early Vacancy Information in the Presence of Monitoring and ALMP," IZA Discussion Papers 9575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Baudy, Philipp & Cords, Dario, 2016. "Deregulation of temporary agency employment in a unionized economy: Does this really lead to a substitution of regular employment?," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 06-2016, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    7. Ferreira Sequeda, Maria & de Grip, Andries & Van der Velden, Rolf, 2015. "Does Informal Learning at Work Differ between Temporary and Permanent Workers? Evidence from 20 OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 9322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    Temporary agency employment; Stepping stone; Employment stability; Wages;

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General


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