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The segmentation potential of non-standard employment: A four-country comparison of mobility patterns

  • Janine Leschke
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    Purpose – While forms of non-standard employment (which include part-time work and temporary employment) have received active promotion in recent years, possible negative effects emerging from these forms of employment have not been high on the agenda. This paper, accordingly, aims to compare workers with non-standard contracts and those with standard contracts in relation to transitions out of employment into unemployment, inactivity, household/care activities and education/training. Country differences in outcome are expected due to varying regulations of standard and non-standard employment and different reasons for resorting to forms of non-standard employment. Design/methodology/approach – The comparison covers four countries, namely Denmark, Germany, the UK and Spain. The segmentation theory is tested by analysing mobility patterns on the basis of the European Community Household Panel data. Event history analysis methods are used. Maximum likelihood multinomial regression models are calculated on the event history data in order to assess competing exits (unemployment, inactivity, household/care and education) between non-standard and standard workers. Findings – The risk of temporary workers exiting employment is greatest by far in Spain, but also evident in the other countries: casual employment is even more volatile than fixed-term employment. Concerning part-time workers, downward transitions to inactivity and/or household/care are much more frequent than among full-time workers, and this is true even in Spain and Denmark where part-time employment is not traditionally used to combine work with family activities. The expectation that there would be no differences in exits to unemployment – insofar as employment protection legislation applies to both full-time and regular part-time workers – proves true only for Denmark and Germany. Originality/value – In contrast to most papers on the segmentation potential of non-standard employment this paper is comparative. Furthermore, it uses event history methods and places a special focus on potentially employability-enhancing “sideways transitions” to education/training measures.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 7 (November)
    Pages: 692-715

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:30:y:2009:i:7:p:692-715
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