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The pay gap of temporary agency workers — Does the temp sector experience pay off?

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  • Jahn, Elke J.
  • Pozzoli, Dario

Abstract

It is a well-known fact that temporary agency workers accept high wage penalties compared to permanent workers. However, remarkably little is known about the wages of workers who regularly take jobs in the temp sector or who do temp work for a substantial period of time. Based on a rich administrative data set, the effect of the intensity of agency employment on the temp wage gap in Germany is estimated. Using a two-stage selection-corrected method within a panel data framework, the paper shows that the wage gap for temps with low treatment intensity is high but decreases with time spent in the sector, presumably reflecting that temporary agency workers are able to accumulate human capital while employed in the temp sector. However, agency employment seems to stigmatize those workers who move frequently from one temp job to the next.

Suggested Citation

  • Jahn, Elke J. & Pozzoli, Dario, 2013. "The pay gap of temporary agency workers — Does the temp sector experience pay off?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 48-57.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:24:y:2013:i:c:p:48-57
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2013.06.001
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    3. Bossler, Mario & Gürtzgen, Nicole & Lochner, Benjamin & Betzl, Ute & Feist, Lisa & Wegmann, Jakob, 2018. "Auswirkungen des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns auf Betriebe und Unternehmen," IAB-Forschungsbericht 201804, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Chen, W.D., 2018. "Upward wage rigidity and Japan's dispatched worker system," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 152-162.
    5. Thomas Beissinger & Nathalie Chusseau & Joel Hellier, 2014. "Offshoring, employment, labour market reform and inequality: Modelling the German experience," Working Papers 330, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    6. Ferreira Sequeda, M.T. & de Grip, A. & van der Velden, R.K.W., 2015. "Does on-the-job informal learning in OECD countries differ by contract duration," Research Memorandum 021, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    7. Egidio Farina & Colin Green & Duncan McVicar, 2021. "Are Estimates of Non‐Standard Employment Wage Penalties Robust to Different Wage Measures? The Case of Zero‐hour Contracts in the UK," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 370-399, July.
    8. Wang, Chuhong & Akgüҫ, Mehtap & Liu, Xingfei & Tani, Massimiliano, 2020. "Expropriation with hukou change and labour market outcomes in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    9. Ferreira, Maria & de Grip, Andries & van der Velden, Rolf, 2018. "Does informal learning at work differ between temporary and permanent workers? Evidence from 20 OECD countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 18-40.
    10. Beissinger, Thomas & Chusseau, Nathalie & Hellier, Joël, 2016. "Offshoring and labour market reforms in Germany: Assessment and policy implications," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 314-333.
    11. Schulten, Thorsten & Schulze-Buschoff, Karin, 2015. "Sector-level strategies against precarious employment in Germany: Evidence from construction, commercial cleaning, hospitals and temporary agency work," WSI Working Papers 197, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans Böckler Foundation.
    12. Grund, Christian & Minten, Axel & Toporova, Nevena, 2017. "The Motivation of Temporary Agency Workers: An Empirical Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 11229, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. 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.
    14. Bill Cochrane & Gail Pacheco & Chao Li, 2017. "Temporary-Permanent Wage Gap: Does Type of Work and Location in Distribution Matter?," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 20(2), pages 125-147.
    15. Jule Adriaans & Peter Valet & Stefan Liebig, 2020. "Comparing administrative and survey data: Is information on education from administrative records of the German Institute for Employment Research consistent with survey self-reports?," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 3-25, February.
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    19. Elke Jahn, 2015. "Don't Worry, be Flexible? - Job Satisfaction among Flexible Workers," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 18(2), pages 147-168.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Temporary agency employment; Treatment intensity; Dose–response function approach; Pay gap; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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